New Worlds Through Books

New Worlds Through Books: Cerrie Burnell

15th February 2018 | Blog

It’s World Book Day on Thursday 1st March!

In the run up, we’re celebrating the power of books to change lives and are asking authors and readers to tell us about a book which opened a door to a new world for them when they were young. That might be a book which sparked their imagination or inspired a new hobby or even led them to learn a new skill.

Today we’re delighted to have children’s author Cerrie Burnell on the blog to tell us about a book which inspired her:

Don’t have time to watch the video? Read Cerrie’s submission below!

“Hello my name’s Cerrie Burnell and I am an author and I would like to talk to you about the book I wish I had read when I was little.

So, I’m severely dyslexic, it’s a well documented fact, I couldn’t do any of my own reading when I was little so I couldn’t read any books at all.

But my mum – I’ve got a very lovely mummy – and she read me loads of gorgeous stories – Peter Pan, Alice in Wonderland, The Faraway Tree.

But one book that she didn’t read to me is this book and it’s called Little Women and it’s by Louisa May Alcott. So I found this book as a grown up, as an adult and I actually saw it as a TV series.

The BBC did a beautiful adaptation and I found it so moving and so beautiful and really relevant to my life today even though it was written 150 years ago. And it’s a story about four women and they live in a farmhouse and they have all of these different challenges and difficulties to face and one of them, my favourite character, Jo, she wants to be a writer and all of the things that she has to battle in order to become a writer – her sister throws away one of her books and then she’s struggling to get another story published and then some of her family don’t want her to go into writing.

All of those things are very similar to some of the challenges that myself and my friends are facing today, especially my female friends. So I rushed out to the shops and I read this book and I just found it so amazing.

It’s like a doorway back into history learning about these women’s amazing lives and I just think it’s so inspiring.

If I had read this book when I was little, it would definitely have given me the motivation to write about things that are important to me. So I think it’s a really beautiful, beautiful lesson in finding books that inspire you, that encourage you to do great things in the world and that tell stories that are powerful and relevant.”


Cerrie Burnell is the author of numerous children’s books and picture books including the brilliant  Harper series of books. Cerrie can be found tweeting at @cerrieburnell

World Book Day is an annual celebration of authors. illustrators, books and reading. Every year on World Book Day, thousands of school children dress up as their favourite children’s book characters to raise money for Book Aid International, so we can send more brand new books to libraries and schools in Africa and beyond. Last year they raised over £140,000 – enough to send 70,000 books to communities where children would otherwise have extremely limited opportunities to read! Learn more about World Book Day here.

Visit our World Book Day resources page for fundraising tips, 30 brand new classroom activities and 43 costume guides.

Fundraise for Book Aid International this World Book Day and celebrate the power of books to open doors to new worlds!

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