Class project inspires Palatine fifth grader to publish her own book

A Palatine student is in fifth grade, and she's already a published author. 

Shivani Ganeshan says it started with a class project. Quest Academy teacher Darrell Maskell asked students to write a book based off popular fantasy stories like The Wizard of Oz and Harry Potter. 

"It was a 15 week project, and I couldn't stop her really," explained Maskell. "The words were pouring out of her."

Ganeshan worked at night and on the weekends to write what turned into her book "The Sign in the Smoke." It's about four normal fifth graders who accidentally stumble on their science teacher's plot to destroy the world. The kids have to save themselves, each other and the entire world.


"My mom read it, and she said,  ‘We have to go forward with this,’" explained Ganeshan.

 It took more than a year of work, but the book is officially for sale online at places like Amazon. Ganeshan says she was so excited the first time she ordered her book. 

"I always dreamed of seeing my name on a book, and it's finally here," Ganeshan said. "It's just a great feeling to see that."

Palatine fifth grader writes & publishes her own book