Budding young author shines

Stacey Fru, winner of the National Development Agency Award for her book 'Smelly Cats'.

One of the recent winners of the South African Early Childhood Development (ECD) Awards, young author, Stacey Fru is fast making her mark as a writer to watch.

The Waverley resident, who already has a book under her belt and another one on the way, was recognised at the recent awards for her published book, Smelly Cats, which tells the poignant story of two childhood friends and the challenges they face growing up.

Fru, a Sacred Heart College pupil, explained the inspiration for the award-winning book, which features two cats, Mark and Mack. “Writing the book was inspired by seeing my mother work on her dissertation. It led me to writing my own notes on the two cats and their exciting journey,” the bubbly nine-year-old explained.

“The story is about their friendship and their experiences, some of which are bad, and fights which occur between them, but in the end, they manage to apologise to each other and end up happy.”

The energetic youngster also explained that she chose the title as she wanted to have a title that would appeal to children. She also spoke fondly of the journey to getting the book published in June last year, explaining that when she showed her mother her notes, her enthusiastic mother opted to turn it into a book.

“My mum and I self-edited the book before taking it to a professional editor to have a look at, got the illustrations done and then got it published, a process I really enjoyed,” she said.

It was an instant success and resulted in recognition across the city, including book launches at her school as well as the recent award in the special mention category.

Talking about the best part of her journey since the book was published, Fru explained that it was probably the visits to schools and making new friends, but also encouraging children to read.

The young author recently completed her third book, Smelly Cats 2, which follows the two cat friends on more adventures as they visit each other’s families.

Speaking of Fru’s success was her father, Dr Emmanuel Fru, who expressed pride at his daughter’s work and praised her dedication as an author. “We are very proud of Stacey and her achievement, she’s a very hardworking and independent child who loves reading,” he said.

The awards ceremony seeks to recognise excellence, innovation, best practice, dedication and participation.

Khanyisile Ngcobo

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