Last night I had a dream.
I was in a suburb renowned for its social housing and low socioeconomics. There were four boys, around 10 years of age. They grabbed a pile of my clean, folded washing and threw it in a puddle. Although they were much shorter than me, they all came towards me aggressively, trying to punch me.
I tried to distract them by talking.
‘Do you live nearby?’ I asked. ‘I used to live near here too.’
They forgot they were trying to attack me. We started to talk about books. They said they can’t get books out at the library anymore, because they lost the books and had big fines.
‘I forget to return my books sometimes as well.’ I said.
Then I remembered that I’ll be moving overseas soon and that I’m trying to get rid of most of my possessions before I go.
‘I have some books I don’t need anymore. I’ll bring them here sometime and you can have them if you want.’
The boys smiled and said they would like that. Then they ran off to play, waving as they went. One cheeky boy with curly brown hair blew me a kiss.
Although it was just a dream, it has made me think about the importance of books.
To give a child a book is to empower them.
It is to give that child adventure.
It is to show them different countries and new perspectives.
It is to open their mind to new possibilities.
It is to assist them to become better readers and writers.
It is to expand their imagination.
It is to enable them to develop empathy.
What a gift.
It is my hope and goal that all children have access to books, and lots of them. I would like to encourage all of you to empower your children, and the children you know, with books.
What an amazing future this world can have if our children grow to be strong, adventurous, open-minded, literate, creative and empathetic human beings.