New Worlds Through Books

New Worlds Through Books: Katherine Rundell

27th 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 author Katherine Rundell join us on the blog to tell us about a book which inspired her:


Katherine Rundell
Katherine Rundell. Photo credit: David Azia


“One of my favourite books growing up was Charmed Life by Diana Wynn Jones because it was the kind of book that stretches the edges of your horizon;

. . . it made me see how strange and witty and valiantly, gloriously unhinged a book could be.

It’s a little like Harry Potter, though it was written decades before – it’s about a boy who doesn’t know he is a wizard, who goes to live in a castle full of adult wizards and wreaks a little chaos. There are plots, wild spells, dragons’ blood and actual dragons and a wizard in some really spectacular silk dressing gowns.

It’s so sharp and funny and wise it makes me want to howl with jealousy whenever I read it; I am so grateful it exists.


Katherine Rundell is an award-winning children’s writer and a Fellow in English Literature at All Souls College, Oxford. Her books have won, among others awards, the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize, the Blue Peter Book Award, the Boston Globe Horn Book Award in America, the Andersen Prize in Italy and Le Prix Sorcières in France. She lives mostly in London and a little in Oxford, where she works on research into the Renaissance poet John Donne and occasionally goes climbing on rooftops late at night.

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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