Leeds schoolgirl, 9, has book published

A schoolgirl from Leeds has had her first book published – at the age of nine.

Amy Middlebrook, who has been writing stories since she was five, is the author of Amy's Moon.

The youngster – who has already written a second book about her cat Smudge – wrote the book after developing a fascination with the moon.

Proud parents Christine and David Middlebrook, of Kippax, say their daughter is full of ideas for further books, especially about their pets, three rescue cats and a dog.

Amy sometimes struggles to communicate due to a hearing problem – and mum Christine said writing "helped her to make sense of the world".

The 45-year-old said: "She had the idea and we looked on the internet for a publisher and sent off some ideas to them and they immediately contacted us with a positive response.

"She worked with an illustrator in America for 12 months to make the book, but Amy had the final say on the finished pictures, which were inspired by her words."

Amy lost part of her hearing when she was two, but it went undiagnosed until she was six, leaving her with speech problems. Her hearing levels fluctuate from mild hearing loss to severe hearing loss, tinnitus and a little known condition called Auditory Neuropathy.

Mum Christine added: "Her speech is improving daily, but we can see how frustrated she can get when people around her don't understand her – writing and art gives her a freedom of expression that spoken words can't always achieve."

Amy's Moon is now available from Amazon and from her own website, http://sbpra.com/amymiddlebrook.

Amy said: "It was really exciting to see the book for the first time. It was fun working with the illustrator to get the images just how I wanted them. I dedicated it to my cousin Jessica who makes me laugh.

"I have a book about my cat Smudge that is ready to be looked at. I have another book that is nearly ready to come out about learning to count.

"I really, really enjoy writing stories, and I would like to become a professional author so that I can earn enough money to open my own animal rescue centre when I grow up."

Karly Strawson and four-year-old Myles Smith, from Pontefract, strike a pose. Picture: James Hardisty

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