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The Impact of Books on our Wellbeing

‎Heidi, The Girl of the Alps by ‎Johanna Spyri

This week is book week and it is dedicated to children’s literacy. During a time when so many pleasures have been taken away from us, one activity that remains, no matter what is going on in the outside world, is the opportunity to read a book.

I was so chuffed as a little girl that there was a book with my name on it. Mum and Dad read the story of Heidi to me over and over again.

Even though this delightful book was written in 1880, I believe the messages that are woven throughout the story are still relevant to our current environment for the following reasons:

1. Appreciation of Nature
The story is set in the Swiss countryside and there is wonderful imagery of flowers, mountains and animals. We know that getting out into nature is so good for our mental health and this book takes us away into the tranquillity and beauty of the outdoor environment.

2. Optimism and Joy
Heidi is a jovial, radiant, kind, chirpy little girl who is always grateful and contented, no matter what her situation. We could all do with a little extra ‘chirp’ right now, couldn’t we?

3. Power of Friendship
The three children in the book – Heidi, Peter and Klara – have the normal troubles kids do but in the end it shows how important our friends are to us. I think we have all learned that connecting with other wonderful humans is one of the greatest gifts of life, and this story reminds us of this.

Raising literacy in children has always been incredibly important to me because it is not only crucial for personal wellbeing and self-worth but it’s also critical for economic development. According to the World Economic Forum, there are 250million children worldwide who will not have enough basic skills, like literacy, to enter the job market. How is that possible in this day and age?

Did you know that every time someone purchases a copy of my book, Her Middle Name is Courage, we give a day’s access to schoolbooks to children who do not normally have the chance to read them? Since starting this initiative we have given 1,052 days! If you would like to help us help children’s literacy, you can do that by purchasing your book here.

Be Well. Live Courageously.

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