Josiah Malachi and his family have three dogs — a poodle named Copper, a Bernedoodle called Maré and Fiyori, a goldendoodle. These three canines are the main characters in 11-year-old Josiah’s debut book, “A Smoothie and Sauerkraut Life: The Shadowed Stranger.”
In “The Shadowed Stranger,” the dogs’ owners are robbed, and the furry, four-legged trio go on an investigation in an attempt to identify the culprit. Maré’s and Fiyori’s names have been shortened to Mar and Yori.
“I read a lot of adventure books that kind of set the base for the plot, setting, and characters in the book,” Josiah says.
The family in the book is based on Josiah’s own family — mom, Lula, dad, Jerry, and brother, Eli, 5.
Josiah says he was 7 years old when he wrote a full story for the first time. With encouragement from his father, Josiah turned his passion for reading and his big imagination to writing.
“With no hesitation and with great enthusiasm, Josiah started writing and he hasn’t stopped yet,” Lula says. “It seems almost unreal for (his father and I). We feel as if we won the lottery and the prize is our child being recognized for his effort. We feel grateful to God, family and the community of Gwinnett for showing so much support.”
Josiah held his first-ever book signing on May 6 at Liberty Books in downtown Lawrenceville, selling out of the 43 books he had on hand.
“It was very fun meeting new people that could potentially read and enjoy my book,” he says of the signing.
“Proud is an understatement,” Lula says of Josiah. “ I know when I was his age writing a book was never in my thoughts. The discipline he has is incredible! It’s one thing to start but to actually finish a whole book is another.”
What’s next for Copper, Mar and Yori?
“I love learning international history, which is one of my hobbies,” Josiah says. “I hope to take the dogs to new places stopping criminals around the world, but it is a hobby. My dream is to become an inventor in the future.”
Josiah’s next book signing will be held from 2 to 6 p.m. Saturday, July 15, at Liberty Books at 176 W. Crogan St. in Lawrenceville.
Follow Josiah on Instagram @Josiahsimagination.