Writer inspires pupils

Her advice – dream and read more

LOCAL author Judy Naidoo visited Stirling Primary last week to present her first children’s book, The Castle on Daisy Drive.

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Invited by Stirling Primary’s librarian, Pat Proud, to inspire pupils to read more, Naidoo shared her journey with the Grade 4, 5, 6 and 7 pupils.

As an avid reader, Naidoo, born and raised in King William’s Town, always wanted to write her own stories.

Inspired by the likes of Enid Blyton’s The Secret Seven and Famous Five stories, Naidoo’s mystery story tells the tale of three young girls who, dubbing themselves the Daisy Drive Detectives, seek to unravel the mystery of a missing man in their neighbourhood.

“I have always been a bookworm. My favourite place in the whole world is the library,” Naidoo said.

She studied journalism at Rhodes University and after her first attempt at writing a book, realised the difficulties involved.

“I become aware that there is a lot more to writing a book – any book – than I had first supposed.

“Over the years I had started and left unfinished – for one reason or another – many, many stories,” Naidoo said.

8-year-old author gives us literature from a child’s perspective

However, she never gave up on her dream and after the death of her father, became determined to write a story from beginning to end.

As 2015 drew to an end, this became her new year’s resolution and a month later Naidoo had a complete manuscript.

“Losing my dad changed the way I looked at life.

“I had a new sense of urgency and I think this story is a direct result of that loss,” she said.

“I’m incredibly sad that he is not here to see my dream become a reality.”

Published in England by Austin Macauley, Naidoo’s book celebrates the joy of childhood and the value of friendship, while also exploring loss, mourning and grief.

Stirling Primary celebrated this local author enthusiastically and happily received Naidoo’s message on the importance of reading, but more importantly the value of reaching for your dreams.

“I wanted to write a story that enhanced imagination and inspired young children to read, and after everything, I’m so glad I didn’t give up on my dream and finally wrote that story,” she said.

Naidoo has written two more manuscripts to form part of The Castle on Daisy Drive series, which she hopes will be published in the future.

She will have an official book launch at Hemmingways Mall on 22 July and invites all youngsters to enjoy a reading and learn more about the mysteries of Daisy Drive.

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