By Jason Gabak
According to Avery Luttrell, 14, if her younger self from a few years ago knew she was going to have a novel published in a few short years, it is likely her younger self would not believe it.
But the young author has officially put her first book out into the world.
Luttrell, a freshman at Fayetteville-Manlius High School recently released “The Dakotah Green Files: Mission Robot.”
A creative person by nature, Luttrell said she has been writing and sharing stories since she was in elementary school and she also enjoys painting and other visual arts, with a focus on watercolors and colored pencil pieces.
“I’ve always been artistic,” she said. “I always liked making up my own stories, but having a book, that is something my younger self would’ve never thought of. But doing this really piqued my interests and I thought it would be another creative outlet.”
According to the author, she spent about six to seven months writing the book, taking her laptop with her and working any time she had a few spare minutes to dedicate to her work.
The result is a novel, she said is geared toward readers around the ages of 8 to 12 or so, that is a combination of historical and science fiction writing taking the reader on a trip back in time to experience World War II and the Depression era through the experiences of Dakotah Green.
In creating her title character, Luttrell said she wanted a character young readers, particularly female readers, could relate to.
“Dakotah Green is an empowered female who resonates with young readers who want to have someone to look up to,” Luttrell said. “Dakotah is smart, curious, independent and experiences adventures that allow her to see the world differently.”
Inspired by her spring 2020 social studies unit on World War II, and finding herself with a considerable amount of time due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Luttrell got to writing.
Set in the Depression Era on the brink of World War II, the story follows Dakotah Green who once lived a simple life with her family in Cincinnati, Ohio. The book deals with issues like a determined mother, an absent father, family bonds, and a mysterious mission with the government.
“Social studies is my favorite subject in school and writing is one of my creative outlets,” Luttrell said. “When writing the book, I wanted readers to view these historical events through the eyes of Dakotah. However, I also took a few imaginative liberties to spice it up with a few unexpected twists and turns.”
In this sci-fi thriller, readers can follow Dakotah and her family as they navigate a new world where robots seem human, war takes its toll, and a top-secret mission to Mars threatens to break a family apart.
“I want readers to feel like they are going on an adventure with Dakotah to end the war and I want them to feel confident with themselves,” said Luttrell. “I want readers to get lost in a suspense-filled historical mystery story with intrigue, adventure and lots of twists that will keep readers guessing.”
So far from feedback Luttrell has had, that seems to be the experience readers are getting.
Luttrell said she has had positive feedback from readers who said they were engaged by the book, entertained and were sad when the book ended, eager to read more.
And Luttrell is already working to give her audience what they are looking for.
“I’m working on a sequel,” Luttrell said.
The new book will pick up where the first leaves off and follow Dakotah on further adventures, which Luttrell hopes to expand into a series of books for young readers.
When not writing or working on art, Luttrell excels in English and enjoys swimming, soccer and cooking.
Social studies is her favorite school subject. And she spends her time with her family and her favorite pups, Benni and Coco.
“The Dakotah Green Files: Mission Robot” is available for purchase in paperback and e-book through Barnes & Noble online.