Nancy Yi Fan, author of 'Swordbird'

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When Nancy Yi Fan moved to the United States from Beijing, she was 7 years old and didn't speak a word of English. Determined to master the language, Nancy says she learned English by reading lots of books.

Six years later, Nancy wasn't just a straight A student. At age 13, she became the youngest best-selling author in Harper Collins history.

Nancy began writing her first fantasy novel, Swordbird, when she was 11 years old. "I love to read," she says. "Books were the fuel for me to start writing."

In search of writing advice, Nancy e-mailed her manuscript to publishers she found online. A few weeks later, she says she received a surprising response—her book was accepted for publication. After hitting bookstore shelves, Swordbird flew to the top of the New York Times best-seller list. It's currently sold all over the world.

"For all the other kids out there who want to pursue their dreams, follow your dreams," Nancy says. "Truly nothing is impossible."
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FROM: Oprah Presents the World's Smartest Kids
Published on May 30, 2008

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