Feeling Challenged

On Friday I visited Vermont Secondary College as an Ambassador for the Victorian Premier’s Reading Challenge. It made me realise how much I’ve been at the desk because I loved talking to the Year Seven kids about what they were reading. I came home and ordered in a bunch of titles from the library. One of the best things about going out to schools is finding out what the kids are reading and what they really like. And I really do like plugging the Reading Challenge so it’s never a hard gig. I like talking about books in general much more than my own work.

That’s me with Kirstie Marshall, the Labor MP for Forest Hill at Vermont S.C. We made a good double act.

I spent the weekend weighed down with a non-fiction book called ‘Bare Branches’ by Valerie Hudson and Andrea Den Boer. It’s about the impact on society of surplus male populations. Fascinating and scary stuff and important to read. But, shallowly, I want to find a book that will let me fall inside its pages. Elwyn, my 19-year-old son, spent the weekend engrossed in the new Harry Potter. He works in a bookstore so he got it at a discounted price. I didn’t enjoy the last Potter but I’m always hopeful that Rowling will revert to the form of the early books and sweep me off my feet. It’s good to be challenged by a book but sometimes it’s nice to feel that familiar lift as you lose yourself in a ripping yarn.

Kirsty is an Australian author of books for children and young adults.

“Books are windows into other ways of being.”

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