D211 Post: Conant Student Turns Project into Novel

            While James B. Conant High School senior Rayaan Siddiqi was taking a computer science independent study, he was told to create a project which would encompass four years of study.  He decided he wanted to do something different from his peers.

            “I knew that I could develop another app for the app store or website,

but I wanted to do something that had never been done before,” he said.  “I knew that writing a novel about a high school student finding his passion could be a great thing to do.”

            The result is the newly published novel The Switch Up, which is a realistic fiction story of a high school student who finds his purpose and passion in the world of technology after they feel a disconnect in what they thought they wanted to do. 

James B. Conant High School senior Rayaan Siddiqi holds up a copy of his book “The Switch Up” which is in the CHS library.

            Siddiqi said he chose to write the book because he felt the topic was relatable to students like him.

            “Being an avid reader, I’ve read books from many industry professionals and adults who write by looking back onto their careers,” he said.  “However, to me, these books always failed to connect due to the large age gap which is why I chose to project forward.”

            He added that he hopes high schoolers will read his book and have a feeling of understanding where the lead character is coming from.  To help build the relatability, Siddiqi said he incorporated multiple aspects of his own high school experiences, including finding a passion for technology. 

James B. Conant High School senior Rayaan Siddiqi signs a copy of his book “The Switch Up” which is in the CHS library.

            Since the book’s release, Siddiqi said the response has been overwhelming. 

            “From selling more than 60 copies in less than two months, to the book being added to some of the largest library branches in Illinois, and even being featured in the Library of Congress, I think it’s fair to say the message of the book has touched hundreds.”

            Anyone wanting to find a copy of The Switch Up, can do so at either https://author.rayaansiddiqi.com or on Amazon.