The Book That Made Me

I'm so excited to be a part of this gorgeous book! The Book That Made Me, superbly edited by Judith Ridge and illustrated by Shaun Tan, will be published in September 2016, with all proceeds going to the Indigenous Literacy Foundation. It's a collection of 32 short pieces by various authors, mostly from Australia and New Zealand, talking about the book or books that were most significant to them when they were young.

The result is a gloriously eclectic melange of reminiscence, humour and pathos, with authors' favourites ranging from Dr Suess through Roald Dahl to Anne of Green Gables to more unexpected choices like Jolliffe's Outback, The Odyssey, and Dolly magazine. Though many of the books discussed were old acquaintances already, I have earmarked several unfamiliar titles to check out for myself, and made a mental note to re-read others. I particularly enjoyed Julia Lawrinson's memories of pretending to be blind after reading By the Shores of Silver Lake by Laura Ingalls Wilder, which reminded me both of playing Little House on the Prairie in the dugout space under our house, and also pretending to be paralysed Clara from Heidi, lying on a couch with a rug over my legs (I was always a lazy child).

The Book That Made Me is an absolute delight. And yes, I do have a chapter in it, where I talk about my love for Philippa Pearce's Tom's Midnight Garden, which is for my money the Best Time-Slip Ever. (There's also a photo of me, aged about ten, reading in a tree.)

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