Fantasy novel by an eight-year-old

Jaime sez, "In honor of Children's Book Week, I'm sharing a link about a book written by 8-year old Griffin Hehmeyer. His mom tells the story of how Griffin wrote a book, enlisted his friends and classmates for help editing and illustrating it, and eventually published it. The book serves as a model for children interested in creating literature of their own, practicing skills like story-telling, writing, empathy, collaboration, and persistence in the process."

The story was inspired by a make-believe game Griffin had been playing for several years with a good friend of his named Maya. In the game he was the king of the wolves, just like Makamom is in the book. Griffin says of the writing process, “When I first started this book, I had a hard time thinking of ideas. As I got closer to the ending it was easier to think of what to say.”

At the end of each chapter Griffin would read what he had written to his classmates and incorporate their feedback into the draft. When the draft was complete, Griffin and his teacher then spent another month reading through the book and correcting any errors before sending it to me. I think the editing process was the most frustrating part for Griffin, since he was impatient to be done. I had told him we’d print it out and get it bound, so he was excited to have a real book-like copy to enjoy.

By April I knew of the book's existence, but I hadn’t yet read any of it. When I received the completed draft, I was somewhat hesitant to undertake the reading such a large chunk of text written by an 8 year old – even if that 8 year old was my own son. To my surprise, however, the book turned out to be really good. As a colleague said when I shared a draft with him, “The book kept me reading it until the end, in one pass. It is a very interesting, clever, and engrossing story.” I also enjoyed watching my husband read the book to our other three children each night before bed. They laughed and gasped at all the right places, and begged their dada to continue reading well after lights out.

Making the Marakon Ways (Thanks, Jaime!)


    1.  I know, right?
      This is extremely awesome though, and I’m fairly sure my 7 yo daughter would love any book involving the King of the Wolves. She’s obsessed with wolves right now.

  1. I just ordered my copy. My 9-year-old and I are looking forward to reading it together.

    1. Gordon Korrman was 12 when he wrote This Can’t Be Happening at Macdonald Hall. He even managed to get Scholastic to publish it.

  2. Bravo, Griffin.  Writing and finishing a full novel is a very respectable achievement.  Keep it up, and never stop writing.

    In other news, I’m going to go headbutt my latest agent rejection letters until I build up some kind of callus against the crushing despair.  

  3. Feh! H. P. Lovecraft *rewrote Homer’s Odyssey in verse for young readers* when he was SIX.

    But seriously…wow. I’m almost 40 and I *still* haven’t finished anything! This kid gets mad props. Hell, I think I’m gonna buy a copy of his book whether I ever read it or not just to encourage him to keep going!

  4. Sigh. Someday, hopefully not soon, young Griffin will learn the meaning of the word maricón. One wonders what his reaction will be…

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