The NLT’s Literacy Heroes campaign approached Barbara to nominate her own literacy hero.

“My mother is my literary hero. She had a great love of books, and because of her, so do I. When I was small she taught me to read, and when I first went to kindergarten, I was the only child in the class who could do that. I was four and a half years old. She soon got me a library card at our local public library. I was five, or six at the time. Books became part of my life as a little girl. And they still are today.

“She helped me to tackle the classics, and by the time I was twelve I had read most of Charles Dickens’ books and those by Charlotte, Emily and Ann Bronte. As a special treat, she would often take me to the Parsonage in Haworth where the sisters grew up. I was fascinated by their childhood writings, which were on display. In a certain way they were my inspiration, as was my mother.

“Why not give a child you know a book and help them to learn to read it? Or an adult who needs help for that matter? You will introduce them to captivating places created by a writer’s talent and imagination, and give them pleasure.”