Jackie French – A Dyslexic Authors Manifesto

There is the small box that is our own lives. Then there is the vast human written heritage that is books.
Every child has a right to that heritage, but without effective literacy programs, one in five of our children are being denied.

Minds starve as well as bodies. Every child deserves to read. One in five go hungry.

Across Australia there are young people who cry in secret because reading even a page seems impossible. It is time we listened. It is time we acted. It is time we acknowledged the one in five children we have failed.

A book can be a refuge. Kids need refuge even more than adults, as they have fewer options for escape.

To all who fail to provide literacy programs that work for every child: do not do this to our children!

Dyslexic should be a description, not a lifetime sentence. As every child can learn to read, but one in five will only read if given evidence based reading programes.

Reasons I Care About Spelling;

1. I’m dyslexic and some of my inside out words even I can’t read back, but..

2. At 64 I am finally learning to spell, listening to the techniques used by modern, evidenced based programes; and

3.’oo kan ‘ave funn wid spallin’ onlee if dere’s probber spallin’ to made mistooks wid

The job of a child is to learn how the world works and why. With each book we are giving kids the worlds that are going to shape their minds, and tools to shape the future. We give them empathy, knowledge, refuge and fun.

The one in five children we fail to teach to read will never have these.

By the time your child is 18 hopefully they will have lived 10,000 lives in the books that they have read. They will have met 100,000 people with all of those outlooks, all of those differing outlooks as well. They’ll all have gained empathy, they’ll have gained understanding, and they will have gained the ability to cope with complexity in a way that television and daily life can’t do.

But to do this, a child must learn to read.

Our society’s greatest resource is our children.

Our best investment is their education.

Our greatest failure is the one in five kids who cannot read.

I’m dyslexic . I don’t believe in left and right, politically or otherwise! Nor am I ‘centre’. I prefer a slightly eccentric orbit- like the earth’s.

Dyslexia: I get lost in car parks, can’t spell or even realise when I have misspelled a word I do know.

But the same ‘fault’ in my brain’s wiring also means I speed read, and absorb, analyse and collate data like a human computer.

An Author’s Manifesto

I write for kids because each book builds kids’ intelligence, to help create our future.

I write for kids because each book gives them tools to make the future they imagine.

I write for kids because for a short while they become the characters in every book they read, and when they have finished, they will have grown in empathy and understanding for humanity.

I write for kids to show them not what they might want to be when they grow up, but to help them find the question ‘How do I want to live?’

I write about the past for kids, so they will learn not just how we came to be this way, but also that the world WILL change- and that if we care enough, we can make those changes good.

I write about the past for kids to show them that every generation of humanity has faced challenges, and has survived. Humans are good at challenges. We are not so good at boredom.

I write for kids to show them how to not to bored, too.

I write for kids because the best way to inspire kids to fight for a good future for our species and our world, is to help them love it, from wombats to the stars.