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by Owen Munro, Abbotsford News
Shervin Azer came to Canada as a curious eight-year-old Iranian immigrant with a dream of becoming an author, despite having no grasp of the English language.
Less than four years later, Shervin is a Grade 7 student at Chief Dan George Middle School in Abbotsford and speaks English fluently.
He has reason to be confident: he has already written and released his first book, called Dare to Dream, which is now available on Amazon.ca in both paperback and Kindle formats.
“When I came to Canada with my parents, it was pretty hard,” Azer said. “But I had a mission to learn the language as quick as possible so I could write a book. That was my dream.”
He has become accustomed to extensive travelling within the country. Azer’s family has already lived in New Brunswick, Ontario and B.C. in the past few years because of his father’s job in the tobacco industry. He said the most difficult thing for him has been the changing landscapes, forcing him to re-settle in a new and foreign environment each time.
Azer spent just over a year writing the book, which encourages other pre-teen students to set their own goals and never give up on them.
He used a self-publishing tool called CreateSpace, and had two editors help him with punctuation, grammar and sentence structure. Azer has now set his sights on continuing his story, with plans on writing second and third books about the same subjects.
He was motivated to write his first book because of what he describes as a lack of positive books for pre-teens in comparison to adult “self-help” books.
And if his quick command of English is any indication of how committed Azer is to becoming a writer, he’s adding a third language to his arsenal: French.
“It was tough at the beginning but one of my main advantages was I tried to be really communicative,” he said. “I’m learning it pretty fast too. Je suis vraiment bon à ça [I’m really good at it].”