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Australia’s Christopher Paolini

Books written by teenage authors are nothing new, of course (S.E. Hinton’s The Outsiders and Gordon Korman’s This Can’t Be Happening At McDonald Hall come to mind), but it’s still rare to see an entire trilogy of fantasy novels completed by a 12th grader.

Melbourne resident Alexandra Adornetto, now 16, began her writing career three years ago:

The then 13-year-old’s friends had all flown off to exotic locations and despite her parents’ promise that they too would spend the summer somewhere interesting, the holiday never eventuated.

“So I thought, rather than sitting at home and saying, ‘Mum, I’m bored, where can you take me?’, I thought I would entertain myself and start writing this book,” Adornetto says.

The first book in Adornetto’s trilogy, The Shadow Thief (which “tells the fantastical tale of evil Lord Aldor’s plot to steal the shadows from the town of Drabville”), was published by HarperCollins’ Australia division when she was 14; its follow-up, The Lampo Circus, was published when she was 15; and the final installment, Von Gobstopper’s Arcade, was published last month.

The article notes that she’s already written 90,000 words of her next book, a more realistic teen series set in – you guessed it – a high school.

This Quillblogger, who began writing his own fantasy novel in high school, admits to being somewhat jealous.