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Young Wake Forest Authors Inspired and Inspiring

Posted February 5, 2008

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— Two brothers in Wake Forest are doing what others have only dreamed of – and it's taken them to other cities and other countries before either one of them has reached his 10th birthday.

Miles Rabun, who’s 9, and his 7-year-old brother, William, have accomplished something many people don’t do in a lifetime. In the classroom, they're just like other kids, but what they've done outside of school sets them apart.

Miles and William are published authors.

“When you write, you're basically expressing yourself,” Miles said.

“We came home with good reading and writing grades in school,” William explained, “so our mom and dad showed them to our grandmother, and then she said what are you gonna do about it?”

That's how "My Grandma's Backyard" was born.

“My grandma’s back yard is filled with so many things to see, you could spend a whole day there. It's an exciting place to be,” Miles quoted from the book.

“When my brother and I enter grandma's back yard, we can't wait to have fun. There are frogs, bridges, flowers and trees. She even has a pond,” the book states.

“I did the rhymes, and he did the vocabulary,” William explained of the collaborative writing process.

It has all become much more than just a story.

The brothers took their love for words and blossomed into young entrepreneurs. There's a Web site, T-shirts, international trips and high honors from city leaders.

There's even a whole family presentation at book signings.

“We play jimbes, which are African drums you play with your hands,” William said.

This is when they reach out to other kids, showing them how they, too, can get published, no matter how old they are. As the brothers wrote in their book, “It really is not hard.”

“When you're writing at a young age, it also inspires other people to express themselves,” Miles said. It’s like the way they've been inspired by writers who came before them.

That has been, Miles said, writers such as Walter D. Myers, Richard Wright, Langston Hughes and Virginia Hamilton, and the list goes on.

And for the Rabuns, one book isn't enough. They're already working on the sequel – “My Great-Grandma's Backyard.” They hope to have it out next year.

“This is probably what our ancestors would want us to do,” Miles said. “Other people will be inspired to do that, too.”

William and Miles were 5 and 7, respectively, when they started the book. Since it was published, they've sold nearly 1,000 copies.

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