Advice I would give to my 13 year old self..


Dear Leah,

you are still reading children’s books.

All your friends read teenage books, and you see those by the side of their beds, or in the bookcases.


But you still read ‘Little Women’.


You are embarrassed by this.

Your best friend laughs to see ‘Anne of Green Gables’.

She reads crime novels.

Your friends begin to talk of Stephen King.


You try to move away from these books.

You try to read crime novels, and eventually you stop reading books at all.


You do not like horror, or crime.


Then ‘Harry Potter’ comes out, and you cannot help it.  You have to find out what all the fuss is about.

You read it, and are hooked.

I mean, imagine going to a school to become a witch?

You want to go to that school, not an ordinary school.

You want a Ghost to teach History.


You begin to return to the old books you knew as a child.

You have tried adult fiction, and you did not like it.


You read ‘Little Women’.

This helps you to to feel secure, safe.

Narnia is still a magical place.


There is a safe place to retreat to, and it is called Narnia.  Or it could be Green Gables, or it could be going to Boarding School with Katie when she gets better.


‘What Katie did’ is still one of your favourite books.

You stop being embarrassed.

You back your books so that you can read them in a cafe.


It helps the daily battle with depression to carry one of these books in your bag.

You carry around ‘The Little Princess’, and read this in a cafe with rain trailing down the windows, and the scent of coffee inside.


You have decided to stop worrying about this growing up business.

You are not sophisticated, but you don’t need to be.

There are magical places to visit, and all it takes is a paperback and one quiet hour.



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