Tharein Potuhera is celebrating the release of his first published book; Tome Riders: Mr. Custos's Book, the first in a historical fiction trilogy series. Tharein, 13 years old, is understandably excited about the book, yet he is humble and grateful to all of those who helped and supported him along the way.
Tharein is an avid reader, which he says led to his passion for writing. From early memories of the tooth fairy bringing him Hardy Boys books to his current interest in any book about history. "Tharein has been connected to books his entire life," says his mother, Durga. "Tharein's love for reading is one of his greatest enjoyments and a healthy habit."
Naturally, Tharein's love of writing soon followed. "When I was younger I wrote books for my little brother and my mom read them to him at night," he says. "I also wrote handbooks about model trains, one of my hobbies." It was during the summer of his 12th year when Tharein's dreams of becoming a published author began to become a reality.
At the insistence of his father, Asthika, to do something productive over the summer, Tharein entered the Young Voices of America summer essay contest with Time Travel as the theme. When his essay grew too long for the competition, Asthika jokingly dared his son to continue to write by telling him that if he finished the book he would get it published for him. "I never thought he would finish it," laughs Asthika. "But he did and I kept my promise!"
The end result is a wonderful story about time travel, history and a new friendship centered on a mysterious old book. Tome Riders: Mr. Custos's Book will keep readers on the edge of their seats while taken back and forth through time and history. The book also features illustrations by Kevin Keil and a complete glossary and resource section for readers who want to learn more about the history involved.
Family support for Tharein is more than evident, but support for the budding young author has also come from teachers and students at his former school, Aldrich Elementary as well as his current school St. Wenceslaus. "My classmates were really excited for me, especially when the news crew came to school," smiles Tharein. "I was nervous at first to start writing a book but now in the halls at school they yell; make way for the author!"
As for Tharein's future, that would include working on the next two books in the Tome Riders series and dreaming of being an author when he grows up. Tharein adds that "If reading were a professional job I would do that."
Questions and Answers with Tharein Potuhera
Omaha Family: What is your favorite book and why?
Tharein Potuhera: I don't have only one favorite book, just like I don't have just one best friend. Some of my favorites are Peter Nimble and his Fantastic Eyes, the Lord of the Rings series, the Harry Potter series, the Great Illustrated Classics series, the Owls of Ga'Hoole series, the Percy Jackson and the Olympians and Heroes of Olympus series, and Murder at Midnight and Midnight Magic, for they have thundering plots.
Omaha Family: What is your favorite subject in school and why?
Tharein Potuhera:I have two favorite subjects in school. They are Social Studies and Literature, because of my love for books and history.
Omaha Family: What is your favorite school cafeteria food?
Tharein Potuhera:I love chicken-patty burgers, corndogs, and lots of fresh fruit.
Omaha Family: What is your favorite hobby and why?
Tharein Potuhera:I enjoy reading and model trains, because I love trains. I also like violin.
Omaha Family: What is one valuable lesson you have learned from your parents?
Tharein Potuhera: I've learned never to give up and to see everything I venture to do to the end.
Omaha Family: Who is your most favorite literary character and why?
Tharein Potuhera: I feel Soren, Percy Jackson, Harry Potter, and Sauron before he became evil are characters I can relate to. They all have qualities and values, interests and adventures. I feel sorry for Hiccup, but I also am fond of him.
Omaha Family: What living person do you look up to?
Tharein Potuhera:I look up to many of my teachers, and some of my principals. Many of the people I look up to are historical, such as Qin Shi Huangdi, Erwin Rommel, Napoleon I, King Christian X, Kaiser Franz Josef, Abraham Lincoln, and Thomas Jefferson, among others. More so than any of these great people are my parents.
Omaha Family: If you could visit a time in history, when would that be and why?
Tharein Potuhera: I would visit Europe, definitely, and probably early America. I would like to go to the Celtic/Teutonic (Barbarian) time, and most likely the Eighteenth Century.
Omaha Family: At one time cell phones and robots were things of the future and now a reality, what is one thing that you think we will see in the future that does not yet exist?
Tharein Potuhera: We might have cars made of biological material and bacterially produced polycarbons. I cannot wait to see what the future will bring.
Omaha Family: If you could have one super power what would that be and why?
Tharein Potuhera: I would either like to time travel effortlessly or conveniently create things out of thin air.