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May 10, 2016

10-year-old author seeks to spread the joy of reading

Photo credit: KFBK’s Hometown Heroes

For 10-year-old Akshaj Mehta, reading and writing open up a whole world of new ideas.

“My motto is actually, ‘with reading comes ideas,’” says Akshaj. This is a theory well tested by the fifth-grader from Sacramento, California, who has already written five books and published three, including, Super Mouse, E-Tron, and E-Tron 2.

After leaving a cliffhanger at the end of E-Tron, Akshaj needed to continue the story with a sequel. “[E-Tron 2 is] about Emmanuel and he faces great physical challenges and sometimes finds himself in the darkness of emotions and lies,” he said.

From the age of four, Akshaj knew he loved to read and write. “I enjoy reading. I have a lot of favorite authors and books and writing is just very fun for me,” He said in an interview with Good Day Sacramento.

In addition to his passion for reading and writing, Akshaj also wants to give back to the local community and support other children. He has donated all the proceeds from his most recent book, E-Tron 2, to Reading Partners SacramentoHe said,

I have a very strong passion for reading and I wanted to donate because not everyone in Sacramento can read as well as me … I wanted to help the community.

Akshaj was named Sacramento’s Hometown Hero for the month of April on KFBK radio for the work he has done to help community organizations in Sacramento.

akshaj rachelRachel Minnick, executive director at Reading Partners Sacramento, met Akshaj in 2014 at a community fair, and they quickly became friends. She said, “Akshaj told me ‘reading creates ideas.’ By collecting books and donating funds from his book sales to Reading Partners, he is helping other children his age gain the skills they need to have their own ideas!”

Akshaj’s family has always supported his endeavors and has encouraged him to follow his dreams. When he came to his parents with the idea for his first book, they found a publisher and illustrator to help his dream become a reality. Akshaj’s parents continuously go out of their way to introduce him to people, places, and ideas that will inspire his creativity.

Akshaj signingWhen Akshaj isn’t in school or reading and writing, he even spends his free time attending charity events and signing books to help raise valuable funds for organizations like Reading Partners.

The Reading Partners Sacramento team is grateful for Akshaj’s commitment to literacy and to helping the community.

“We have many generous supporters, but Akshaj stands out because he is using what he has to help others and serves as an example to people of all ages. Everyone has talents they can use to make the world a better place and Akshaj is using his talent for writing to make reading accessible to everyone,” Rachel said.

Of the three books Akshaj has published so far, Rachel says Super Mouse is her favorite “because it was his first book and it is tangible proof that if you believe in something, you can make it happen” — a great testament to Akshaj’s impressive accomplishments at such a young age.

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