12 year old Julia Fleming, from Arab in Alabama, USA, is an award-winning, intelligent, young woman with a bright future in writing.
Earlier this year Julia won a State Literature title for students in grades 4-6. She surprised her teachers, parents, and friends by entering but not telling a soul when she did! The competition entailed taking a book they’d read and writing a letter to the author of the novel to explain how it impacted their lives. Julia did this without letting on that she is, in fact, legally blind.
Julia explained to WAFF News: “I’m legally blind, which means that I’m not totally blind, but that I was born totally blind,” She told of how she has had artificial cornea transplants to gain her some limited vision.
The book Julia chose to read and reflect upon was Escape From Camp 14 by Blaine Hardin. The book isn’t an easy read; it’s a man named Shin living in shocking conditions in North Korea, and his eventual escape to the west.
The dangerous predicaments people living under the dictatorship in North Korea face touched Julia, and obviously shook her to her core. Speaking to the local news team she said:
“They don’t have a voice because their government is Communist and they can’t talk unless they’re permitted. As Americans, we can’t imagine that. These camps are like concentration camps.”
Her English teacher Mary Anne Crowder speaks highly of Julia and all she has accomplished, “She’s an inspiration to all of us, all that’s she’s been able to accomplish,” she said, “She has never let her disability hold her back”.
Julia takes the praise in her stride, however, and does not see herself as an inspirational figure: “Some people say that I inspire people. That’s great, but it’s not my life goal to inspire people”.
She is now in the running for the national title in the literature contest and if she is successful, Julia will be the first student from Alabama to win.
As well as being an award winning student, Julia has recently published her first book. Called Seymour the Snake it is all about a visually impaired snake and follows him on his adventures, trying to find something to help him see a bit better…
“I think I wanted something a little like me. That’s why it’s called Seymour The Snake.” See more.
Julia, despite not feeling the need to be an inspiration, aims high in her aspirations. Speaking to her local news team she said she would prefer a career as a judge, or owning a big company like Apple, “or being President…”, she says, “There’re some jobs that aren’t exactly the safest for a blind person to do, like being a pilot, but there’re so many things that you can do.”
We wish her the best of luck in all she does, and look forward to more of her work in the future.
Born David Clive King in Richmond, Surrey on 24th April 1924, King grew up in Ash in Kent and was educated at the King’s School, Rochester before eventually graduating with a BA in English. From 1943 to 1946 King served as a Sub-Lieutenant in the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve, which took him to many places around the world including Japan where he saw the then recent devastation of Hiroshima.
Censorship is a topic we do not shy away from here at For Reading Addicts, and everyone in our community has an opinion on it. It has been quite a black and white issue for most readers- either they want all books to be published and none to be banned- or they feel it is fine to ban some topics (depending on their own political/moral leanings).
Either way it causes some discussion among book clubs and literary groups alike.
One such group is Family Rhetoric on Facebook, run by Amber Leventry- an LGBTQ advocate- who was disturbed by a title while looking for children’s books on Amazon. Amber discovered a children’s book that horrified her so much that it had to be shared with her followers on Facebook, and drove them to report the title en-masse in hopes of banning it from the major book distributer.
Ever the supporter of new artists and ambitious, young people, Stormzy has teamed up with Penguin Random House to create his own imprint #Merky Books. This will be added to his other projects: his record label, #Merky Records, and his own music festival in Ibiza, #Merky Festival.
That isn’t stopping us from lapping it up of course and if you’ve been eagerly awaiting season 6 then here’s the trailer. Read More