Monday, September 13, 2010

Those Who Don't Believe In Magic Will Never Find It...

When I was a little girl at primary school, I spent every spare moment in the library. Mornings, afternoons, in between classes and lunch times. What started as reading quietly in the corner soon lead to bigger and better things. At the beginning, I would perform tasks like contacting new books, processing the returns, rearranging the shelves. After a while, I was given the privilege of selecting "Book of the Week", and writing a short review on it. Call me a nerd, I don't mind. Because in the end, not only did I win Library Leader of the Year three years running, I was lucky enough to attend several meet the author days. Here, I was able to put faces to so many of the names that feature down the spine of some of my favourite books. Duncan Ball, author of 'Emily Eyefinger' and the 'Shelby' series. Emily Rodda, the genius behind 'Ronald of Rin' and 'Deltora's Quest'. And Morris Gleitzman, the funny man behind comic novels such as 'Toad Rage' and 'Gift of the Gab'. It was a pleasure meeting these wonderful people, but for each that I met, there were others which I never would. Aside from my love affair with J.K. Rowling, there was only ever one other author who held such a special place in my bookshelf...

Roald Dahl, one of Britain's most famous novelist's for children. What I loved most about Dahl's stories were not only the marvelous, mischievous and magical settings of chocolate factories and giant peaches, but also the bunch of quirky characters that came with it. Looking back, I think what captivated me the most was the way in which Dahl used unsentimental black humour to cast vengeance upon the child-hating adult villains, most notorious being the fall of the evil headmistress Miss. Agatha Trunchbull in Matilda. That and, the list of quotes that have stayed with me for years, "two rights don't equal a left".

So, with today being the official 'Roald Dahl Day', I will dust off my copy of The BFG, and pay homage to a man who saw me though some of my best childhood years.


  1. I have a similar love of Paul Jennings, but unfortunately I didn't appreciate them until I got older... I love reading to the kids at school and for a bunch of cynics who are so worried about being cool they can't help but be mesmorised but authors like Roald Dahl, timeless brilliance!

    We need more authors like this to get kids excited about reading, about using their imagination and going on an adventure!

    for all the SMARTboards and youtubes and technology, classic stories will forever be just that!

  2. Pix, try to find solace in the fact that for each of the twenty technologically tranced tween's you teach, there will be one lonely little lady in the library, where seeming loneliness is overcome by the brilliance of authors and their stories.

    Paul Jennings was great!


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