A prolific short story writer and blogger since age seven, Adora Svitak (now 12) speaks around the United States to adults and children as an advocate for literacy.

Why you should listen

A voracious reader from age three, Adora Svitak's first serious foray into writing -- at age five -- was limited only by her handwriting and spelling. (Her astonishing verbal abilities already matched that of young adults over twice her age.) As her official bio says, her breakthrough would soon come "in the form of a used Dell laptop her mother bought her." At age seven, she typed out over 250,000 words -- poetry, short stories, observations about the world -- in a single year.

Svitak has since fashioned her beyond-her-years wordsmithing into an inspiring campaign for literacy -- speaking across the country to both adults and kids. She is author of Flying Fingers, a book on learning.

What others say

“A tiny literary giant.” — Diane Sawyer, Good Morning America

Adora Svitak’s TED talk

Adora Svitak on the TED Blog

Impact of Ideas

At a babysitting service, TED Talk Tuesday changes the way business is done

April 21, 2014

It’s 1pm at Sitters Studio, and seven people are gathered around a table while Adora Svitak’s “What adults can learn from kids” plays on a whiteboard in front of them. On video, the then-12-year-old begins, “When was the last time you were called childish?” Nods around the table. “For kids like me, it happens every time we […]

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Education

4 inspiring kids imagine the future of learning

March 6, 2013

After more than 13 years of research convinced him that children have the ability to learn almost anything on their own, 2013 TED Prize winner Sugata Mitra aspires to shape the future of learning by building a School in the Cloud, helping kids “tap into their innate sense of wonder.” In the spirit of Mitra’s […]

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Adora Svitak on TED.com

April 1, 2010

Child prodigy Adora Svitak says the world needs “childish” thinking: bold ideas, wild creativity and especially optimism. Kids’ big dreams deserve high expectations, she says, starting with grownups’ willingness to learn from children as much as to teach. (Recorded at TED2010, February 2010 in Long Beach, CA. Duration: 8:13) Watch Adora Svitak’ talk on TED.com, […]

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