Primrose Hill: Boy, 10, writes 12,500-word fantasy novel to raise cash for charity

Max Phillips with his debut novel Picture: Lucinda Phillips

Max Phillips with his debut novel Picture: Lucinda Phillips - Credit: Archant

A talented 10-year-old shocked his parents by secretly writing a 100-page fantasy novel – and selling it to raise cash for Cancer Research UK.

Primrose Hill’s Max Phillips, who is now 11, wrote the book in three months after a classmate’s mum died from cancer.

When he emerged from his bedroom with a 12,500-word manuscript, his amazed parents set about printing the novel so Max could sell it at school.

Mum Lucinda, a one-time business journalist at the Sunday Times, told the Ham&High she had “no idea” he was working on a story.

She added: “We were so proud of him – and I must say, he’s a lot more creative than I am.

“His book actually hangs together well – it’s got a theme, good characters. It’s fantastic.”

Titled The Crystal, Max’s story is about three children who discover a gemstone inside a secret tunnel.

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One of the children touches the stone and unwittingly releases an ancient prince at the head of an army bent on wreaking carnage.

To save the world, the children must take the stone to a mountain – Minaro – and destroy it by dropping it in lava.

After a quick read-through and edit, Lucinda and dad Bradley printed 100 copies of the book for the Devonshire House Preparatory School pupil to sell to friends.

He has now managed to flog 60 copies, raising a massive £500 for Cancer Research UK.

Lynn Daly, a spokeswoman for Cancer Research UK, said: “Cancer touches everyone, including the very young like Max and his schoolfriend.

“He chose to do something proactive to help make a difference and we’re very grateful for his efforts and the money he has raised.”

Lucinda said it was entirely her son’s idea to raise the money for charity after his classmate’s mum fought “long and hard” against cancer.

She added: “She had a prolonged battle with it. As soon as Max had finished the book off he said he wanted to do it for Cancer Research UK.

“He was taking in about 30 a day and selling them at about £3 – but some people gave much more than that.”

There are still dozens of copies of The Crystal available to purchase (with all money going to Cancer Research). If you would like one, email