When 12-year-old Citra Tenore visits Memorial Hall Library (mhl.org) in Andover at the end of the month, it won’t be to pick up a few books or do research. She’ll be the featured speaker.
A sixth grader at Doherty Middle School, Citra is the author of a 240-page tween novel, “Summer with a Twist,” about the adventures of the fictional Chloe Taliri.
“Chloe takes on pre-teen challenges and mishaps in unpredictable ways, leading to a laugh-out-loud and sarcastically funny roller coaster that will have pre-teens feel like they are looking in a mirror,” according to Amazon.com, where the book recently became available and has gotten good reviews.
Citra became interested in writing in fourth grade, inspired by her teacher, and in fifth grade began creating short stories.
When she read one of them to a class, she got a standing ovation.
“I thought ‘I can do this and entertain people with my writing,’ ” she said.
Citra first tried writing a murder mystery but said, “I didn’t know the police world, so it got hard.” She went with the sage advice “write what you know.”
The premise of “Summer with a Twist” is based on a real event. Citra had longtime plans to attend a concert with friends when her family got an opportunity to visit Nantucket.
“We said, ‘You can’t go to the concert; you are coming with us,’ ” said her father, John. “She was whipping mad.”
And the trip didn’t turn out so well, Instead of spending time with girlfriends, she was visiting family friends that included five boys, and she was faced with unfamiliar territory.
Then, she said, “I thought, why not . . . turn it into a funny story.”
A fan of J.K. Rowling and her Harry Potter series, Citra is writing a second novel with the same main characters, and has plans for a third in the series.
“I want to keep writing,” she said. “People ask me what I want to be when I grow up. But why wait? Why not do it now?”
Citra Tenore speaks at Memorial Hall Library, 2 North Main St., Andover, 2 to 3 p.m. May 30.
Wendy Killeen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.