Growing A Reader
by Louise Gornall
So, I live in a very small village, and we celebrate Whit Monday (the last bank holiday in May) with a festival full of floats, music, dress up, and a fairground. It's a pretty big to-do. Way way way back in the day, our local library had their own float that my sisters and I used to be a part of. It was so much fun. Every year the float would have a theme, and of course, ours was always based around books. All the kids would dress up while the adults went about creating a paper-twist backdrop for our costumes. My favourite float was when we did Beatrix Potter, and my sisters and I dressed up as rabbits. I was a reluctant reader back then, but I knew of Beatrix Potter and her Peter Rabbit from spending summers in the Lake District.
A primary school teacher introduced me to Pippi Longstocking during one wet day when we had to have recess inside. I would have been about 7 or 8 at the time. Our class sat on the mat, with milk, as the teacher read about this quirky chick with crazy hair, a can-do attitude and the strength to lift a horse above her head. I was in love. And when book week rolled around a few weeks later, my mum spent two hours using brown sugar and hairspray to make my pigtails stick out at the sides. Best costume I have ever put together. The Adventures of Pippi Longstocking is still one of my most favourite books.
From being about 11 years old, I had to spend a lot of time in hospital. I was miserable, and very angry about the various aches and pains my body kept putting me through. That's when my mum introduced me to the bizarre world of Adrian Mole, and his endless pining over the enigmatic Pandora. That book made me laugh so much. I would get completely immersed in Adrian's world, and relate entirely to his jaded outlook and bad-skin struggles. I must have read that story 20 times over the years I was stuck in my hospital bed. I still read it now, especially when I'm feeling super low. And it still makes me laugh out loud. That poor dog! I think The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole is the only book I've ever had to replace because it got so worn out.
About the Author
My name is Louise, and I write YA books. Sometimes contemp, sometimes horror, sometimes thriller. My debut YA contemp, Under Rose-Tainted Skies, will be published by HMH/Clarion (US), and Chicken House/Scholastic (UK) in the fall 2016/17.
About Under Rose-Tainted Skies
Norah has agoraphobia and OCD. When groceries are left on the porch, she can’t step out to get them. Struggling to snag the bags with a stick, she meets Luke. He’s sweet and funny, and he just caught her fishing for groceries. Because of course he did.
Norah can’t leave the house, but can she let someone in? As their friendship grows deeper, Norah realizes Luke deserves a normal girl. One who can lie on the front lawn and look up at the stars. One who isn’t so screwed up.
Readers themselves will fall in love with Norah in this poignant, humorous, and deeply engaging portrait of a teen struggling to find the strength to face her demons.
Learn more about the Growing A Reader series here!