South Charlotte

11-year-old publishes spy novel

When Summra Akale, 11, told her dad she wanted to write, he was surprised. He personally never had a knack for writing.

But a couple years later, Summra's first book, "Espionage Teens," is now available at select book stores including Borders in Stonecrest.

A recent graduate of Elizabeth Lane Elementary School in Matthews, Summra said she was inspired to write the book from her martial arts classes.

"My book is about a girl named Gabriella who becomes a spy and chases villains around the world," Summra said. "She was in this agency for spies, and they were surprised by her knowledge and she has to find these bad guys and put them in jail."

She wrote the book over a summer when she was 9, and her mom typed it up for her. Her dad, Akale Borga, found a small publisher in Tennessee and for her 11th birthday, presented her published book as a surprise .

The family recently moved to Duluth, Ga., but Summra has been traveling to places like Washington, D.C., and Atlanta for book signings. On June 11, shortly before the move, Summra had a book signing at Borders in Stonecrest.

While "Espionage Teens" was only 97 pages, Summra is already writing her next book, which she expects to be between 200 and 300 pages. She hopes to have it published by 2013.

Currently, Summra is donating 10 percent of her profits to Holy Trinity Ethiopian Orthodox Church off of Idlewild Road. So far she has sold more than 300 books. For the next book, another adventure novel, she wants the money to go toward charities that help children.

When asked if she wants to be an author when she grows up, Summra said: "I want to be an author and singer and supermodel and also a spy."

If she keeps writing, she just might get to be all those things - at least on the page.