Northampton Academy is proud to support Year 7 student Aston, a published author of two astronomy books aimed at children. Aston, who lives with ADHD and Autism, wrote his first book, 'The Solar System', during lockdown when he was just eight years old.
With a little guidance from his Dad, he produced the book on a computer, and his mum promoted it to family and friends on social media. The book proved popular, and to their surprise, sales grew quickly. It was sold worldwide, selling hundreds of copies. Even astronaut Tim Peake bought one!
Spurred on by this success, Aston wrote a second book at age ten, 'Things About Space'.
Since age two, he has been fascinated by astronomy and finds researching and creating his factual books about the space objects in our solar system both extremely challenging and satisfying. He combines information with his own illustrations, photos from his telescope and images from NASA. The 2nd book has sold internationally, selling almost 1000 copies.
Aston wanted to make his book as accessible as possible to children like him who sometimes struggle with learning, so the book has a QR code on every page that, when scanned with a mobile phone, opens to a website where Aston actually narrates the book himself.
The books have sparked media interest, and Charlie Stayt and Nina Warhurst interviewed Aston on BBC Breakfast. He also featured on BBC and ITV News and was interviewed on BBC Radio Northampton by Annabel Amos.
An unofficial ambassador for ADHD and Autism, he had the honour of opening the SEND conference in Nottingham this year where he spok about his "superpower" to the families of other neurodiverse children. He talked in front of over 100 adults he didn’t know and got a standing ovation at the end! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=luQB0H_VWfY
Aston is also a member of the team at UK Astronomy, a charity dedicated to educating and supporting others in astronomy, and he kindly donates a percentage of his book sales to the charity, resulting in a donation of over £1000 to the charity.
Persimmon Homes, one of UK Astronomy's sponsors, has purchased and donated 250 of Aston's books as part of Project 250 to get the books into more schools.
You can find out more about UK Astronomy by visiting this link: https://www.ukastronomy.org
Aston's book, Things About Space, is available in the NA school library, and can be purchased via his website:
https://www.astonsmith.me.uk/index.php or from this stockist https://www.firstlightoptics.com/books/things-about-space-by-aston-smith.html