Former leading New Zealand publisher and bookseller, and widely experienced judge of both the Commonwealth Writers Prize and the Montana New Zealand Book Awards, talks about what he is currently reading, what impresses him and what doesn't, along with chat about the international English language book scene, and links to sites of interest to booklovers.
Wednesday, April 05, 2017
Courageous young girl with scoliosis writes book to raise awareness and help others
Auckland girl Kate Chandulal would love to be just like everyone else.
Diagnosed with scoliosis at birth and contracting meningitis at the age of five,
life has been far from ordinary for Kate.
solace in reading and with a gift for storytelling, Kate has written a book
about her experiences, A Walk in My Shoes,
in the hope that it will foster greater awareness and understanding among her
says, “My longing in life is to be like others, to belong and not be left out,
like the ugly duckling was in the story. When I experience rejection or become
an object to poke fun at, I have a heavy sinking sadness inside and want to
ask, “Why are you being so mean? I’m just like you inside.”
challenges readers to walk in her shoes and to have empathy and understanding
for those whose life is different from their own. She hopes that by reading her
book, people will realise how painful it is to be stared at, rejected and
bullied, just because, as Kate says, she was born with a syndrome that makes
her face look different, like a mixed-up jigsaw puzzle!
message is also one of resilience and hope. Despite her physical limitations,
Kate loves young children and is positive about the life she has and hopes that
her story will reach hundreds of children all over the world.
Ed (GES) is the proud publisher of Kate's first story, which they publish in
conjunction with Scholastic in April 2017, as part of their ‘Into Connectors’
series. ‘Into Connectors’ supports
students to strengthen and construct meaning collaboratively with their peers,
and A Walk in My Shoes encourages
responsive and responsible reading by students.
Directors Jill Eggleton and Tracy Strudley said, “We have published hundreds of
books and this is the first time we have published one by an author as young as
Kate. In itself, this is a remarkable achievement; even more remarkable because
it’s from such an extraordinary and resilient young woman.”
Eggleton met Kate (pictured together here) when volunteering at Starship
Children’s Hospital in a teaching support role. Bowled over by her bubbly
personality and imaginative writing skills, Jill said, “The teachers at
Starship Hospital were enthusiastic about Kate’s writing, sharing with me a
story Kate wrote while she was yet again in hospital. Like them, I recognised
that here was a true gem. A Walk in My Shoes is an honest,
thought-provoking story from the heart of a courageous young girl for whom
living is a constant challenge.”
GES and Scholastic will host a special morning tea and book launch for Kate Chandulal on Monday 10 April. Media are welcome to attend; for further information, please contact Sarah Thornton, Thornton Communications, email@example.com.