Is an 11-year old girl from Walton youngest ever person to publish a textbook? In fact, Hollie Buxton wrote her book when she was only 10. Like many Year 5 pupils, she was tasked to complete a project on Ancient Egypt. But Hollie found the subject so enthralling that she went to town on hers.
“It was finding out about mummification – how they would hook the brain out through the nose before embalming the body that first got me fascinated,” she told the Gazette.
By the end of her summer holidays, Hollie had produced an inch-thick book with 25 sections covering most aspects of life and death in Ancient Egypt.
Was it all her own work? Absolutely – though Mum and Dad did help by collating the information she needed, buying her reference books and taking her to visit to the Egyptian collection at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery.
Besides writing and illustrating, Hollie also produced some impressive paper engineering – a bronze serpent with dates and key facts on its coils, pop-up eyes on the side of a sarcophagus and inside the centrefold, three pop-up pyramids.
When she handed her project in, Hollie’s teacher, Mr James not only gave her 100% but told her it was as good as a book. “He said it was just the sort of thing teachers would recommend to schoolchildren who were doing their own Ancient Egypt project,” she remembered. “So I got it in my head that maybe I could have my project published.”
Which is where Hollie’s Mum, Kay Masters came in. She scoured the internet for self-publishing websites before deciding that Xlibris in Bloomington USA, looked the most suitable.
“We had to scan and email them all the pages, which took some doing,” explained Kay. “After a little while, Xlibris phoned to say it was good to publish, which is when we all got excited,” Hollie laughed.
“I just had to change a few pictures and paint some myself because of copyright,” she continued. Hollie now owns (through her Mum and Dad) the copyright to her 64-page full colour book which came out late last year.
“I’d like to thank Mr James, who was nice and jolly for inspiring me to do a book,”
Accessibly written, with lots of information and pictures, Hollie’s book is very helpful for school projects on Ancient Egypt.
“It tells you how to make a mummy, about Egyptian gods, temples, jobs, food, farming , pharaohs, towns, transport, fashion family life and games, their writing, pyramids and tombs,” Kay explains.” “If I had been able to buy a book like this in the first place, it would have saved me weeks of research.”
If you want to read an Egyptian prayer, see what their pillows looked like or how to write ‘Ancient Egypt’ in hieroglyphics, you’ll find the answers in ‘Ancient Egypt’ by Hollie Buxton published by Xlibris Corporation and available locally in softcover through Webberley’s Bookshop, Hanley at £11.99, also as softcover online and as an Ebook.