Taban, 10; Instructor, Cathy Lenius
At just 10 years old, Taban is celebrating publishing her very own children’s book titled “Cat Life – the Story of Kooch and Vafa.”
Taban’s love of reading and writing began after following her older brother’s footsteps and joining the Kumon Reading Program when she was just three years old. “She was looking forward to reading what her brother was reading and at times would actually eagerly read his worksheets,” says Taban’s mother Natasha.
By the time she reached 2nd grade, Taban was writing stories and drawing pictures to distribute to classmates, encouraging her peers to write stories as well. Books fueled her creativity. “After I would read an interesting book or watch an engaging movie, I would ask to be alone and make the rest of the story in my head, change the story, add characters and even play the parts,” she said.
As a Kumon Student of seven years, she was well prepared for the opportunity to publish her own book. “The Kumon Program helped expand on that love [of books] because the program allowed her to read such a variety of material at progressively more difficult levels,” explains her Kumon Instructor, Cathy. “She developed an interest in literature by progressing from simple books to much more complex novels and she did it on her own time, moving through [the program] quickly to go beyond grade level.”
Taban studies material in Kumon more than three years above her grade level. She has recently completed the critical reading focus of the Kumon Reading Program – material students don’t typically encounter until high school. In addition, she also studies material above grade level in the Kumon Math Program.
This year, Taban has launched a monthly newsletter at her school called “The Fifth Grader” which includes news stories, debates, puzzles as well as submissions from other students. Following the newsletter’s launch, Taban’s inspiration for her book developed. “I set timelines for myself and spent many mornings writing,” she states. And then one day the idea for my book just popped into my head.”
“Cat Life,” available on Amazon, tells the adventures of Taban’s two adopted female cats through interconnected short stories. When Taban is not creating new stories, she can be found reading Shakespeare (she’s already read “Macbeth,” “Hamlet,” “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” and “Romeo & Juliet”), skating, swimming, rollerblading, or simply daydreaming about what the future holds.