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A Boy who can't read or write has had his first novel published.

Imaginative Jacob Connors was only nine when he came up with the storyline for his fantasy The Queberry.

He spoke the tale into a tape recorder and his teacher wrote it down.

Thousands of copies of his 12-page A4-sized book have been printed. Some will be sold at pounds 3.50 in high-street stores. Others will be studied in schools.

Now aged 10, Jacob is already working on a sequel. He said: "I'm really excited.''

Jacob, who has the reading ability of a five-year-old, thought of his story on a camping holiday with parents John and Cait and brother Billy, 11.

On his return to school he was asked by his teacher to go through the alphabet and name an animal starting with each letter.

For Q he said queberry, telling his baffled teacher that queberries are fat nocturnal characters with pointed chins, banana-shaped arms and big legs.

He said they flick pebbles and half-eaten sausages at people.

The fascinated teacher at Gregory Middle School in Bradford, Yorks, got him to tape the yarn.

The council's education department published the story with a pounds 2,500 government grant and pounds 1,500 of Euro-funds.

Jacob said: "I can't wait to see it in the shops.

"I'm getting much better at reading and writing. I like telling stories and I'd love to write for a living when I'm older."

Headteacher John Flockton said: "Seeing his story in print has boosted his confidence no end.

"Other schools in the district are already using Jacob's book in language development classes."
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Copyright 1997 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Author:Hardaker, Paul
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jul 11, 1997
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