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10-Year-Old Oakland Girl's Book Tops Bestseller List

OAKLAND (CBS SF) – "Today I want to tell you a true story about my best friend Leo. The story is happy, then, scary-sad, then happy again."

Curious? So are the other thousands of readers Abbey Richter has regaled with her heartwarming books about her pets. She's a best-seller, she's speaks fluent French, she rides horses and plays the guitar. Oh – and she's only 10!

Her latest book, 'Lucky Leo, My Best Friend' is about the time her pet Shih Tzu was bitten by another dog. Leo's saga made it all the way to the top of Amazon's bestseller list prompting Abbey to write three more books. Each one tells the story of her pets -- two cats and two dogs -- all rescues.
There's "Stunning Stella, the Hospital Cat," "Everybody Loves Charlie Brown," and Frieda the Fabulous." She told the Contra Costa Times how she got 'Fabulous' Frieda, her cat. "Our mean next-door neighbors moved away and left Frieda behind," said Abbey, who lives in Montclair. "She started living in our outdoor closet, and then she had kittens. We gave the kittens to our neighbors, but we kept Frieda."

Perhaps Abbey's love for animals is in her DNA. Her dad is a local veterinarian. "I love being around animals," she said. "It helps to have pets because they cheer you up when you're sad." Ten-percent of the money she makes from her book sales goes to the Pet and Wildlife Fund and another 10% goes to Pets for World Peace.

Being a best-selling author has catapulted Abbey into the very grown-up world of PR and press junkets. She does book-signings and speaks before audiences across the country. She met and chatted with Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The company American Girl has even modeled a doll after her.

For her next project, Abbey is working on a cookbook for kids. She said it was inspired by an essay she wrote about mini-cheesecakes. She's using recipes from her grandma and other kids.

You can meet this 10-year old bestseller in Montclair Village. She'll be reading from her books at A Great Good Place for Books on March 14 at 4 p.m.

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