Introducing Maymunah Azad, Blog contributor

As a mom and children’s books author, I believe in helping children foster a love for reading. However, who better can relate to a young person than another young person? I met a young author named Maymunah Azad who kindly agreed to contribute to my blog and write specifically for my young audience. Here’s what she has to say:

Maymunah Azad

Today, we have so much new technology. iPads, iPhones, laptops, Xboxes, PlayStations . . . the list is endless. With this new tech, there are new advancements and convenience. Left that important document at work? Lucky you’d saved it on iCloud or your memory-stick. Wanted to compare the prices of a product between Tesco, Sainsburys and Asda? Google is right at your fingertips. In fact, even in Spanish there is an infinitive verb, tuitar, meaning “to tweet” as a new word.

Even children know how to do all this.

The dangers with the Internet is that you can have no control over what your children are doing or seeing. In fact, I’ve heard of kids having Facebook as young as eight! Okay, sure it keeps them occupied, but have you ever stopped to wonder exactly what too much exposure to TV and the Internet can do?

The answer to this question is best summed up by Roald Dahl in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. This is part of the poem he wrote:

“IT [TV] ROTS THE SENSE IN THE HEAD!
IT KILLS IMAGINATION DEAD!
IT CLOGS AND CLUTTERS UP THE MIND!
IT MAKES A CHILD SO DULL AND BLIND
HE CAN NO LONGER UNDERSTAND
A FANTASY, A FAIRYLAND!
HIS BRAIN BECOMES AS SOFT AS CHEESE!
HIS POWERS OF THINKING RUST AND FREEZE!
HE CANNOT THINK — HE ONLY SEES!
‘All right!’ you’ll cry. ‘All right!’ you’ll say,
‘But if we take the set away,
What shall we do to entertain
Our darling children? Please explain!’
We’ll answer this by asking you,
‘What used the darling ones to do?
‘How used they keep themselves contented
Before this monster was invented?’
Have you forgotten? Don’t you know?
We’ll say it very loud and slow:
THEY … USED … TO … READ! They’d READ and READ,
AND READ and READ, and then proceed
To READ some more. Great Scott! Gadzooks!
One half their lives was reading books!”

In my opinion, the whole song is completely true and accurate to today’s children. The most important thing that needs to be done is to get children reading.

‘Just over a quarter of 35,000 children from 188 schools told the National Literacy Trust that they read outside of school.’ (BBC 2013) At school, I help encourage children who can’t read as well as fellow pupils that don’t read as a hobby to find books that they’ll enjoy.

With so many new authors writing, and releasing books, there is definitely a story for everyone. Stories are the best way to improve and enhance a child’s vocabulary, helping them to improve communication, a vital skill as they grow up. Moreover, studies show that children who read as a hobby are more likely to do better in school and as they get older.

Sadly, people don’t know where to look for books that will encourage their child to read aloud or independently.

The key is to promote a love of reading at an early age.

I’ll start recommending books for young children all the way to teenagers. There is such a big range out there; maybe you could find something new to enjoy!

Daimby City: Night Dragon by Maymunah Azad was first created when I was in Year 6, at the age of eleven. I decided to start writing a short story, to appeal to children around her age. My chosen genre was fantasy; I loved reading about dragons, magic and mystic heroes.

Two and a half years later, I was in Year 9 and now fourteen years old. My teachers, family and friends had encouraged me to publish my now novel, and it was finally published in February 2015.

I’m still at school and I still enjoy reading, although I write a lot more now too! My current interest is palaeontology; I adore dinosaurs! At school, my favourite subjects are Art and Science and I can often be found hanging out with friends around the school building in my spare time.

I live in Derbyshire with my family and two very pesky chickens. You can find out more about me at www.daimbycity.com. Follow me Maymunah Azad on Facebook and Twitter at www.facebook.com/daimbycity and www.twitter.com/daimbycity! Hope to see you there!

Maymunah Azad blog contributor for Segilola Salami

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