By Emma Crawford Kent
TUPELO – Milam Elementary sixth-grader Archie Prasad doesn’t want to pursue a career as an author even though he’s already co-written a book at the age of 11.
Prasad, who says he hopes to one day become an architect and perhaps write on the side, co-wrote and got his first book published this year.
The book, “Tantrum Fantrum,” was written and illustrated by Prasad along with his friends Kabir Gupta, 9, and Gargi Koul, 12.
The way Prasad tells it, the three friends were just hanging out one day last year when one of their younger siblings began asking the older kids to tell him a story. So, they decided to make one up.
“The idea just sort of popped up in our heads,” Prasad said.
Thus, “Tantrum Fantrum” was born.
The book tells the story of the Fantrum family, a young boy prone to throwing tantrums and a babysitter who decides she’s had enough and stages an intervention.
Eventually, the main character for whom the book is named loses his nickname and his bad behavior. He goes back to being known by his real name, Tanner Fantrum, rather than the moniker his fits earned him.
Over the course of six months, Prasad and his co-authors wrote and edited, discussing their drafts and piecing it together to form the completed, nearly 30-page story.
They also each drew a portion of the book’s illustrations. Prasad drew five.
“Sometimes it was hard and stressful,” Prasad said.
Once the story was complete, Prasad’s parents helped get the book published. His parents’ support, Prasad said, was meaningful and helpful along the way.
For someone who said he does not plan to make a career of writing, Prasad stood in front of his classmates at Milam Friday morning and read “Tantrum Fantrum” aloud like a seasoned author.
He paused to show illustrations and used different voices for each character, his voice ebbing and flowing with the plot’s movement.
Many of his classmates were unaware that Prasad had co-written a book until Friday morning, and Prasad was anxious to share his work.
“This is the first time they’ve mostly seen it, so they’re excited,” Prasad said.
Barbara Rhodes, media specialist at Milam, said she has already stocked the library with copies of “Tantrum Fantrum” for Prasad’s classmates to check out.
The book is also available for purchase on Amazon.
She said she hopes other students at Milam will be encouraged by Prasad to read and write.
“This is a great way to motivate our students to read more and think about being an author and publishing a book,” Rhodes said.
Prasad had some advice for anyone wanting to write a book of their own: decide what you want to write about and write about it.
“You just have to get an idea and go on from there,” Prasad said.