To be a published author at 13 years old is no small feat, but to have written the first book at 10 years old and while dealing with a learning disorder makes one Morton family even more proud.


To be a published author at 13 years old is no small feat, but to have written the first book at 10 years old and while dealing with a learning disorder makes one Morton family even more proud.

Haley Armitage is an eighth grader at Morton Junior High and the first book in her juvenile fiction series, “Kataya’s Journey of Destiny,” will be published nationally in November.

Anne Dawdy Armitage, Haley’s mother, said when Haley was 10 she had a school assignment to write a short story and sat down at their home computer to start on it.

“I just thought it was great she was really enjoying it and then she came in and told me it was 87 pages long. It just kind of blossomed from there because she finished what would end up being the first book and decided the character wasn’t done yet,” Armitage said.

Armitage said Haley soon began plotting out six books in total and was pestering her mother for the next two years about trying to get the series published.

“I finally broke down and my family helped us search out some publishing companies. Haley put together a cover letter and sent her manuscript to Tate Publishing in Oklahoma. She got a call about a year ago around this time that they were sending her a contract and publishing the book,” Armitage said.

Haley was diagnosed with attention deficit disorder at the beginning of her fourth grade year.

Armitage said when Haley was placed on medications for ADD, she developed a love of reading and writing.

“That’s what really pushed me to do this for her and help with the process. I certainly don’t regret putting her on the medication because she wouldn’t be doing what she’s doing without it,” Armitage said.

“When she’s writing, she’s in her own world and it’s amazing as a parent to sit and watch it,” her mother added.

The plot of “Kataya’s Journey of Destiny” is about a sixth grade girl named Destiny who has lead a pretty normal life until some interesting students show up at her school.

“She investigates further and finds out they are from a different world. She discovers she was actually born into that world, too, and it’s her destiny to fulfill the prophecies to fight the evil wizard and save the realm,” Haley said.

Haley said Tate Publishing has made sure everything with the book is to her satisfaction every step of the way, from the book’s cover to lining up speaking engagements.

“Once the publishing was a big option, I wanted to be able to talk in front of people and tell everyone who contributed to the book thank you and how important they were to me. I hope it will inspire other kids my age, too,” Haley said.

Haley will present a signed copy of “Into the Realm of Elfrelmey” to principal Lorna Sherwood at Jefferson Elementary School Friday.

Haley will also speak to the fourth, fifth and sixth grade classes about the publishing process and how being diagnosed with ADD affected the creation of her first book.

“My fourth grade teacher I had there, Mrs. Nelson, discovered and helped diagnose my ADD and get me medications. It helped with my concentration and desire to read more,” Haley said.

Armitage said while not every child with ADD is going to be able to accomplish what Haley has done, her story shows a student’s abilities and potential should never be underestimated.

“Proud would be an understatement of how I feel about Haley. She has shown that if you have a passion for something, no matter what age, you should try it. She’s a pretty amazing young lady,” Armitage said.

While the Armitage family is still not sure what local bookstores will be carrying “Into the Realm of Elfrelmey” when it is released Nov. 17, the book will be available at online retailers such as Barnes and Noble, Borders and Amazon.

Currently, the book can be purchased directly from the publisher at www.tatepublishing.com.

There are also plans for a book release party from 5 to 9 p.m. Nov. 20 at the Freedom Hall in Morton.