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Teenagers bring dream world to life


Jorritsma, Smith team up for book



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Halie Smith and Zachary Jorritsma hold up the result of three years worth of hard work and dedication, now published authors and illustrators. Elizabeth Gregory. (click for larger version)
December 26, 2010
SPENCER — What started as a backyard game is now a book written and illustrated by a couple of teenagers.

Zachary Jorritsma and Halie Smith are the perfect examples of what a child’s imagination can do for their future and how the games we play as children may not be as silly as they seem, but rather can have a lasting impact on our lives and the lives of others.

With the rise of popular fiction books such as the Harry Potter series and “The Chronicles of Narnia,” playtime has changed from the simple “cops and robbers” and “house” to entire make-believe worlds with in-depth characters, special powers, and good vs. evil plots.

Through games such as these, 15-year-old Zachary developed an idea to write a book, called “Naturefolk Chronicles,” based on the magical world he and his friends created in their own backyards.

“We made the game up with some friends of ours, and our brothers and sisters, and at that point I was trying to write as much as I could with little stories here and there,” Zachary said. “And so I tried to turn what we were doing into a plot, the characters and the setting of what we were playing just kind of grew from there.”

The book, Zachary said, would fall under the category of an “allegorical fantasy, almost in the nature of ‘The Chronicles of Narnia.’ Basically it takes the setting of instead of life-size fantastical fictional creatures, I made them small and that is how they stay undetected by humans because they are only 2 inches tall and live deep in the woods.”

For more on this story, please see tomorrow's Southbridge Evening News.

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