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Pick your favourite poem with Kate Wakeling

A headshot image of author, Kate Wakeling.
An image of the book cover for Moon Juice, by Kate Wakeling

Our author of the week is Kate Wakeling!

This week's author of the week is Kate Wakeling! Her first poetry book, Moon Juice is filled with curious characters and strange situations and you can read it for FREE! There's also an exclusive video with the author, a Q&A and you can find out her top three children's books.

If you enjoy reading this book, your local library service has loads more ebooks to borrow for FREE. Ask your parents to help you join.

And for more reading fun including book recommendations, mini challenges, games and more, why not sign up to the Summer Reading Challenge

Watch the video

Kate Wakeling - Author of the week

Kate Wakeling - Author of the week 's recommended reads

It Might Be An Apple by Shinsuke Yoshitake

I only just discovered this wondrous book but I think my life will never be the same again. An exploration of all the possible things an apple might be, this glorious book is tricky to sum up but wildly inventive, witty and mind-bending – and just as much a delight for adults as for children.

When Secrets Set Sail by Sita Brahmachari

I'm a huge fan of Sita Brahmachari and was blown away by this bold, imaginative and beautifully written historical novel that explores everything from colonialism to sibling relationships to (friendly) ghost visitations.

The Wolves of Willoughby Chase by Joan Aiken

I read this book pretty much on a loop as a child and there are scenes I still find myself thinking about, years later. A story of danger, daring and true friendship, The Wolves of Willoughby Chase absolutely thrums with excitement and heart, and is a true classic.

Q&A with Kate Wakeling - Author of the week

If you could be a storybook character, who would you be?

Funnily enough I spent a lot of time when I was younger wishing I was Mildred Hubble from The Worst Witch books by Jill Murphy so I think this has to remain my answer. I suppose it doesn’t make enormous sense (surely I’d have wanted to be a more successful witch?). But of course Mildred is ultimately an excellent witch and even though things do often wrong, she always saves the day and somehow remains honourable and kind throughout. I always thought her cat was the nicest looking of the lot too, but mostly I had such a strong yearning to attend Miss Cackle’s Academy for Witches and wear the drab grey uniform and live in a stone turret and delve into dusty spell books and sleep on a hard bed and eat disappointing meals. And yet, to train to be a witch! To zoom around on a broomstick foiling wicked plots! It still feels like a thrilling possibility.

What is the best thing about reading?

Aghh, there are so many things. I think for me the most special thing about reading is being able to shape-shift and explore different times and worlds and people like a wild adventurer, but all while sitting quietly on your own. There’s something about that combination of exploration and privacy that I find very wonderful: you are always in control of ‘painting’ the world of the book in your own imagination. So books at once push you to experience other things but you remain the master of that experience. It’s a very special mix, I think.

What is your all-time favourite book?

Aghh (again). I think I probably have a different answer to this most days, but there‘s a book that often springs to mind when I’m asked this impossible question so that’s what I’ll say here: Les Misérables by Victor Hugo. It’s very (very) long but it has something of everything in it. There’s adventure and excitement and poetry and stillness. It’s all at once funny, sad, wise and playful. It’s a book that does so many things at once and it’s also nail-bitingly gripping, so for these reasons I’ll list it here as my favourite.

What can you do to get better at reading?

I think the key is to find something you really want to read – which might be a story about discovering a portal to a world run by eels or a non-fiction book about space travel or a script from a television programme you find really interesting. Not every bit of writing appeals to every person: you have to find the things that make you want to read them and then the actual reading part often feels much less effort. Matching up readers to exactly the right sort of thing to read is what librarians are magically good at, so whenever you next find yourself in a room with one, ask them to help you find something juicy to get stuck into…