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"Rocket Rider" 10-year-old author donates books to Aurora Public Library for all to read

10-year-old author donates books to Aurora Public Library for all to read
10-year-old author donates books to Aurora Public Library for all to read 02:25

Editor's note: This story was first published in July. This week it was featured in the CBS News Colorado special "Your Reporter: Covering Colorado First 2023."

Inside the Aurora Central Library, the children's section is where you might expect to see a kid like 10-year-old Ayla Anderson. You might even catch her reading a story from out of this world. 

Ayla Anderson   CBS

When a CBS Colorado news crew was there, Ayla read aloud from a book:

His eyes widened happily. 'Is this Earth? Another planet? He had heard of planets, but none like this.

But what you likely wouldn't expect is that Ayla is also an author.

"It's a lot different from being a normal 10-year-old, I'll say that," she said with a smile. 

Encouraged by her fourth-grade teacher at Buffalo Trail Elementary School, Ayla spent much of this last school year writing and editing her first book. 

"Writing was my favorite subject, so I was very intrigued to write a book," Ayla told CBS News Colorado's Kelly Werthmann. "I've always wanted to do that."

Fueled by that intrigue and passion, Ayla wrote the 88 fun-filled pages of "Rocket Rider." It's an adventurous story of a robot named Ronald.

"It took me a few days to figure out what it was going to be about, but it didn't take me that long," Ayla said of her book. "I just immediately knew I wanted it to be of a robot who had to be sent to Earth, and so I just went from there."

And from there to the virtual shelves of Amazon.


"I didn't think I'd ever publish it," said Ayla.

With the help of her parents, "Rocket Rider" was published through the online retailer and is available to buy for just $8. Hundreds of copies have already sold, it's getting five-star reviews and inspiring readers.

"The moral of the story is just to always trust yourself, and never give up on what you were meant to do. And for him, that's going back to his home planet," Ayla explained.

"And it sounds like what you're meant to do is be a writer," Werthmann replied.

"Yeah," Ayla said with a giggle.

Ayla said she has plans to write a sequel someday, but first she wants to make sure every kid has access to Rocket Rider. That's why she recently donated copies to the Aurora Library.

"We're so happy to have this donation! Thank you very, very much. I know that a lot of children will enjoy these," Aurora Public Library Director Midori Clark said to Ayla. 

"That just makes me happy to know that other people can get to this book, too," said Ayla.

She also hopes to motivate other young readers to perhaps become young writers as well. And, she has some advice.

"Even in times if you don't feel like writing, just keep on pushing through that because it will be so worth it in the end," she said.

Ayla is certainly wise beyond her years, but don't be mistaken – the 10-year-old is in no hurry to become the bestseller she's destined to be. 


"I don't want to be a grown up. Being a kid is great!" said Ayla. "I'm still a kid. I wrote a book, but I'm still a kid."

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