Bath welcomes 10-year-old authorPublished 9:21pm Thursday, July 5, 2012
BATH — Alethia Anderson of Bath is one proud grandmother.
Her 10-year-old grandson, Jacob Smith, is the author of one self-published book, and he is putting the finishing touches on a second, which he hopes to release in August.
The son of Greg and Tina Smith, Jacob recently visited his grandmother for a few days. Anderson said she could hardly wait to show him off to her friends during a gathering of Bath’s Colonial Book Club.
“They would have taken him home if we had let them,” Anderson said. “I was a very proud grandma.”
Jacob, a rising fifth-grader at Shoals Elementary School in Surry County, entertained the book-club members with his writing, including excerpts from his first book, titled “The Best Teacher Ever.” He penned the book, late at night and sheltered by bed covers, as a gift for his teacher, Donna Fowler.
“I wanted to give her a nice Christmas present, and I thought that would be the best thing,” he said. “She melted into a puddle.”
What began as a one-of-a-kind gift quickly sprouted wings. Tina Smith, who grew up in Bath, said she was encouraged to self-publish her son’s book, which soon became the subject of two newspaper articles and a radio story in the family’s hometown of Pinnacle.
Jacob read the book to his classmates, and he was invited to host a book signing at his school. To his delight, he sold 45 copies. Signed copies of the book are available for purchase at Anderson’s gift shop, Pirate’s Treasure, in Bath.
“My autograph is sure going around very quickly,” the youngster said with a smile.
Jacob’s mother has agreed to be her son’s full-time secretary, typing the manuscript for the second book, which tells the story of a dog’s adventures in Paris.
“I’ve had it on my mind for several years, and I finally decided to write it,” Jacob said of the newest tale. “The story in my mind is a lot different from the one on paper.”
Jacob plans to share a portion of the proceeds from the book with an animal charity. And he doesn’t plan to curtail his literary career any time soon; in fact, he already has ideas for at least four more books.
Jacob is slated to share his talent once again with a Beaufort County audience Aug. 12, when he’ll be a featured guest at the Historic Bath State Historic Site’s Second Saturdays celebration of the written word. He’ll join other local writers who will read excerpts from their works.