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qathet region ninth grader publishes first novel

With father's encouragement, 13-year-old creates story at dining-room table
TEEN AUTHOR: Brooks Secondary School student Aasir Diab, 13, published his first fictional book, The Adventure of the Prince, on Amazon two months ago. With the support of his family, he was able to make the most of the COVID-19 lockdown.

A ninth grade student from the qathet region recently published his first novel on Amazon.

From the dining room table on the second floor of his house, 13-year-old ​​Aasir Diab tapped away on computer keys for about six months over the COVID-19 lockdown, telling the story of a prince whose father makes his life miserable, that is until his dad, the king, is kidnapped.

​​Aasir said his father encouraged him to write The Adventure of the Prince while waiting out the pandemic at home.

“I was in the house, I had nothing to do, and my dad just told me to write something, be productive,” said Aasir, “so, I just did.”

His 70-page story was inspired by lessons of the Middle Ages in his social studies classes at Brooks Secondary School, with a fantasy twist.

Although Aasir doesn’t have a favourite part in his book, he said he loves how the prince makes his way through various challenges, like navigating lava lakes and fending off mythical monsters. So far, he’s sold 30 copies online and has another two paperbacks at home.

Aasir said he’s sure his family didn’t think he’d follow through with publishing, but he did, and his family is proud.

“It was exciting for them,” added Aasir.

His dad, Elmuiz Diab, said he noticed his son had a passion for reading and drawing long ago, and a creative mind. Aasir also frequently asked to borrow books from the library.

“I feel like when he’s drawing characters, he’s portraying something,” said Elmuiz, adding that he saw something there and wanted to tease it out.

Elmuiz said for him, the biggest hurdle was getting the book a licenced proof-reader. But it was all worth it, and he is hoping to see his son become a famous author one day.

“Okay, maybe a lawyer, too,” he laughs.

Aasir’s mother, Sandra Diab, said she just wants to help guide her son on the right path, but ultimately support him while he does what he loves.

“I'm really excited for him,” she added. “It means a lot to me.”

Sandra said she’s proud to see Aasir putting his energy toward something positive.

“When he was growing up, we knew he was brilliant at math,” she added. “And then, later on, we came to know that he’s good at drawing and now this is a third thing he’s accomplished in life; he’s a good writer. So, every year I think we are exploring new things about him.”

The Adventure of the Prince can be purchased on for $14.99.