Well, I never thought I’d be an ambassador! And to be a reading ambassador for a wonderful library – what could be better? As a child I was a fanatical reader and I don’t know what I would have done without my much loved local library. I’m absolutely proud and delighted to have this honour.
Here are three novels I first read and passionately loved in the very early years of high school, and which have remained favourites ever since:
Careful, He Might Hear You by Sumner Locke Elliott (1963) About a small boy and his tempestuous family, set in Sydney in the 1930s. It’s emotional, funny, observant and so expressive of Sydney.
The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins (1860) a wild and highly dramatic mystery, set in Victorian England – a thrill on every page!
An Episode of Sparrows by Rumer Godden (1956) A very individual and moving story about children trying to make a garden in the ruined streets of London, just after the end of World War Two.
And here are two pictures books:
I Had Trouble in Getting to Solla Sollew by Dr Seuss (1965) I was given this for my 7th birthday and I still know it off by heart! Totally delightful and clever rhyming tale about how to deal with some very unusual problems…
My Dearest Dinosaur by Margaret Wild and Donna Rawlins (1993) An Australian picture book about a mother dinosaur which always brings me to tears. A unique and beautiful book.
To be able to read and also to have available to us such a vast variety of books, in libraries, schools, shops and now of course also through the internet – these are amazing aspects of human life which have been achieved over thousands of years. Let’s hope that the National Year of Reading campaign will help remind us all that books and reading are things which should be enormously valued, and never taken for granted.