When A Children’s Fiction Book Opens A World Of Dreams

Here’s a question for you – what is the most inspirational book you have ever read???

I was thinking about this over the past couple of days and I decided to tell you about the most inspirational book I have ever read.

Becoming friends with the author of it is  definitely a scenario I didn’t imagine when I first read the book.  You could say he was in the “enemy camp” (or one of them) when I first read it.

I can still remember when I first saw “Spellbinder” by Stephen Bowkett.  I was standing in E3 (his classroom) near the beginning of my first year of Secondary school.  Mr Bowkett was the only teacher I actually liked in the entire school – he let me daydream (as long as I wrote the daydreams down in an exercise book).  He also got the class reading books in class time.

I am not going to go into detail about exactly why I hated school so much (you can read about it on my personal blog).  Let’s just say I didn’t have an easy time of it.  To the point where my vivid imagination came in very handy when it came to thinking up scenarios to deal with most of the staff who taught me (you will be pleased to learn that the fact I didn’t put these into practice means I am able to write this blog post – I would have been in prison if I had).

However, I digress.

“Spellbinder” might not have been in the same league as some of my later favourite books (like Sir Jackie Stewart’s autobiography, “The UnDutchables”, Bill Bryan’s books, etc) but it was more important than them all.  It is no exaggeration to say that – if I hadn’t read the book or had the author as my (favourite) teacher – you would not be reading this because I wouldn’t be here typing now due to a terminal inability.

The book taught me it was OK to daydream, writing stories can be a great way to escape, oh and, if you are really lucky, people will pay you for doing something you enjoy.

I realise that very few people are lucky enough to have been taught by the very same person who created their favourite object.  Even fewer are able to consider the creator of the object to be one of their friends (even years after the discovery).

Me being someone who has never really thought of the rich and/or famous as truly inspirational means that you will probably never have heard of any of my “inspirational people” – after all, “Spellbinder” came out in 1985 and is now out of print.  (Yes – Steve Bowkett is on that list of inspirational people.)

Please don’t misunderstand me.  I think that there are some extremely famous people who have done some amazing things and overcome some serious challenges.  However, I am more inspired by the people who are not rich or all that famous – who muddle along in their lives and try to make life better for the rest of us because they truly want to make a difference.  I could reel off a list of the people who have (and continue to even today) inspired me and give you the reasons.  We would be here for a very long time.

I am so thankful for the opportunity to read that book as well as having the author as both a teacher and a friend.

Reading can result in the discovery of treasure more valuable than the most precious object in the world.  It can result in learning the reason for your entire existence.  It did that for me.

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