by KELLI GUSICH | photos by Zeena Gregg Photography

Young Author

Sahana Kumar loves reading. She reads so much, it may surprise people to know that when she was younger, time outs dispensed by her parents involved taking away her reading privileges. By the time she was 8 or 9, that love was so immense it sparked a desire to make her own stories and share them with others. So what did she do? Not cute little fables twisted together with copper brads, oh no. She wrote a 242-page novel and published it at the age of 12!

Sahana’s novel, Cave of Mystic Dreams, is a fantasy fiction, where three specially powered teens named Jason, Claire, and Zac are sucked into another world called Zairon. The trio is sent into a quest through a series of caves, facing many challenges to acquire a treasure with powerful capabilities. “The book is available in paperback on Amazon, and is an eBook in Kindle and iTunes, and has had excellent reviews on Amazon,” Sahana shared. She continued, “The proceeds of my book go to a nonprofit organization called AID India, a group that helps promote schools for children in rural India.”


When she is not being a young author and philanthropist, Sahana also sings and plays the violin. She is a distinguished Honor Roll student at Francis Parker School, and has won placements in the regional Science Olympiad competition and Math Field Day. She likes the library there, and the wide range of elective options that are offered. “I really like the teachers,” Sahana confided, “they do a lot to give us individual attention and help us after school if needed.” Her favorite subjects are math, science, and English. “I really like math and science because they’re interesting and I really enjoy solving problems,” she said. “I like the projects and assignments we are given in English.”


Carmel Valley has been her home for nearly four years, where she continues learning the Indian classical music she started studying at the age of 6 – when she started playing the violin. She is part of the New Youth Orchestra. When asked about her inspirations, Sahana cited authors like Christopher Paolini, J.K. Rowling, and Rick Riordan. She looks up to her parents immensely. “My parents definitely inspire me the most; they are really hardworking, successful and smart,” she stated.

To help this entrepreneurial young author contribute to AID India, check out her novel at


Name: Sahana Kumar (13)
School: Francis Parker School
Grade: 8
Parents: Vanitha and Prem Kumar
Sibling: Sanjana Kumar (8)
Favorite Places in 92130: Carmel Valley Library and Swirls