Adora Svitak Likes French Philosophy, Reads Three Novels a Day, Has Written 400 Short Stories and Champions Feminism and World Peace. She Is 8; EXCLUSIVE WORLD'S CLEVEREST KID

The Mirror (London, England), September 28, 2006 | Go to article overview

Adora Svitak Likes French Philosophy, Reads Three Novels a Day, Has Written 400 Short Stories and Champions Feminism and World Peace. She Is 8; EXCLUSIVE WORLD'S CLEVEREST KID


Byline: By ANTONIA HOYLE

MR and Mrs Svitak's little girl is precocious. Prodigiously intelligent. Quite possibly the cleverest child in the world.

Adora Svitak is eight years old, adores French philosophers, polishes off three novels a day and touch-types at 90 words per minute.

Which is just as well because Adora is also the author of 400 short stories and poems, many of which are in the book she's just had published.

And when she's not being a literary giant, she's busy championing feminism and world peace - her website describes her as a "writer, poet and humanitarian".

Adora might only be four feet tall, but with the reading skills of an adult and a mind as sharp as a surgeon's scalpel, she brims with confidence and well-considered opinions.

In the United States, she's already a celebrity, having appeared on Oprah, Good Morning America and Montel Williams's celebrated radio show in New York.

Now Adora is over here to promote her book, Flying Fingers, a collection of short stories, poems - and advice for other kids on how to write.

Flying Fingers was published in the US when she was just seven and in the year since she's stuck a second book deal under her belt.

Today, she doesn't waste time before she's filling us in with her view of the "special" relationship between her country and ours.

"I was listening to Tony Blair moaning about you all being anti- American," she says, ever-so-prim in her pretty pink pinafore.

"But personally, I think it's perfectly fine for you all to be angry with America."

That's all right, then ...

"Tony Blair is smarter than George Bush but makes some wrong decisions. But Bush has no idea what he's doing, he's just blundering through.

"I'm writing a political satire about him at the moment, actually. It's called Yang in Disguise. I don't support him."

IT is lucky for George Dubya that Adora has another 10 years before she gets the vote...

Not that she's letting that come between her and her political convictions.

"The Iraq war could have been avoided with better negotiation and more thinking," she says, a little smugly.

"If I had my way I'd end all wars and poverty. We should all be more aware of what's going on in the world around us and less ignorant."

Adora has yet to explain exactly how we end war and poverty, but give her time ...

Talk to her for a while and you do begin to wonder whether the words and ideas are actually her own - or whether she's simply parroting her mum's opinions.

While we talk, Joyce, 41, is, video-recording the interview and prompting Adora for her opinions on politics.

She and Adora's dad John, 43, a Microsoft programmer, realised their daughter was special when she was just three and started reading by herself.

"We wanted the girls to make the best of themselves," explains Joyce, who works as an interpreter back home in Seattle, Washington and has a second daughter, Adriana, 10. Adrianna is quite musical.

"John read Plato to Adora before she was old enough to read it herself.

"I moved to the US from China when I was 25. I wanted to read when I was a child, but I didn't have any books. It made me want to give Adora more of a chance."

Doesn't she worry that so many prodigies fall apart when they enter their teens? …

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Adora Svitak Likes French Philosophy, Reads Three Novels a Day, Has Written 400 Short Stories and Champions Feminism and World Peace. She Is 8; EXCLUSIVE WORLD'S CLEVEREST KID
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