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Congratulations to Alice Brancale, the winner of the 2015 'what reading means to me' competition!

After much deliberation going through over 600 entries, we are very pleased to present the winning entry by the very talented 12 year old Alice Brancale, from Howells School, Llandaff.

What reading means to me

by Alice Brancale 

When I was in Reception, I would always look forward to the last ten minutes of the day, when my teacher, Miss Marple would read to us. She would sit on her throne, a comfortable leather chair, with a book in her hands ready to read a new story.

There was a period of time when she read 'Winnie The Witch' and I immediately fell in love with such a clumsy sorceress. That weekend, my mum and I went to my favourite bookshop and bought the very book. I spent the journey home looking at all the pictures and trying to work out what the text said. I could hear Miss Marple's voice so I kept smiling.

That evening, I sat in my bed, with the book on my lap. I was determined to make a good impression when I went back to school. My mum spent the entire evening helping me read out every single word of 'Winnie The Witch '. On Monday, I awaited anxiously to tell Miss Marple what I had accomplished. I walked up to her desk and told her that I could read the entire book as she had done the week before. I was expecting a smile or maybe a shiny sticker, but she said something that surprised me completely: "Today, youwill read to the class and /, will listen". Then she sat on the carpet, opened her arm and pointed to her throne inviting me to sit on it. The chair was so high that my legs dangled. I felt so important.

Two years ago, Helen Marple died of cancer.

Every time I pick up a book I see her in the pages. Every time I read a book I am still lifted to a wonderful place, on a throne.



Alice Brancale along with TV personality Mel Giedroyc, at the CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway awards ceremony.

(c) Rolf Marriot Photography


Also congratulations to our runners-up, 13 year old Aleena Ali, from the Swanhurst School in Birmingham and 9 year old Michal Chamera from the Spalding Church of England Day School.


What reading means to me

by Aleena Ali

To me, reading means everything. It is my life. Without it I would be miserable. Reading sends me to another world, another universe; I am unreachable. Whatever is happening around me dissipates and I am lost in a world of Wizards, Love-Triangles, Murders and History.

I dissolve into the story; I become the characters. I am the damsel, I am the wizard and I am the wicked-witch. Reading gives me comfort. Reading gives me anguish. Reading gives me joy. Reading calms me down when I am angry, nervous, stressed or scared. When I read, I am entranced; the world around me has stopped – I am lost in a world of my own.

I am Harry Potter, the boy wizard, on my first day at Hogwarts; frightened, committed and excited. I am learning new spells, making new friends and towards the end, I un-earth the mystery surrounding my parents’ death.

I am Cathy; passionate, wild and torn between two men. I am wondering the lonely moors. I am a flawed heroine. Long after my death, I still linger to haunt Heathcliff.

I am Hercule Poirot, the Belgian detective with the comical moustache. I am finding clues, cross-checking alibies and solving murders – left, right and centre.

I am Elizabeth Bennet; head-strong, selective and stubborn. I am a sister, I am a daughter; Turning down every allegeable suitor. But, little do I know that my heart will be won over by the very man that I, at first, detested.

This is what reading means to me. It turns me into a reading chameleon. Where the chameleon changes colour to blend in with his surroundings, I mutate into the characters that I am reading about. One by one, I become them and when the book is over, I am myself again; plain old me.


What reading means to me

by Michal Chamera

Reading is fun and takes me away. When you start you can't stop. It is like the words block your ears and mouth, you cannot feel anything. It is like you're the only one around, it teleports you to another world. You forget everything and read and read.

I prefer fiction with pictures and not long, boring books. Fiction books you can learn lots but it sounds so boring. I prefer fiction like Horrid Henry and Diary of a Wimpy Kid. They have a lot of humour, are funny and off course, have pictures.

There are a lot of authors out there and my favourites out of three are Roald Dahl, Francesca Simone and Jeff Kinney. He amazed me with Diaryof a Wimpy Kid, most of my school prefer that book and I love it. 

I would like to thank all the authors for writing books. I would like to thank Conrad Gesser for inventing the pencil and Laszlo Biro for inventimh pens. Thank you Cai Lun for inventing paper and thank you to the Greeks for inventing the alphabet that we use today.


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