poetry, teachers' resources

“Lights out!” (Jackie Hosking)

"Short and scary (cover)"Today we welcome Jackie Hosking, here to tell us about her experiences of reading undercover.  She loves to write rhyming poetry. We’ve published several of her poems in Alphabet Soup magazine, and she’s had poems published elsewhere, including The School Magazine, and in an anthology, Short and Scary.

"Jackie Hosking (photo)"
Jackie Hosking

As a child I loved to read. I read all of Enid Blyton’s The Secret Seven books ( http://www.enidblyton.net/secret-seven/ ), I loved their meetings in the clubhouse where their mother brought them homemade biscuits and lemonade. Later I enjoyed The Nancy Drew Mysteries and always looked forward to receiving a new copy at the end of the Sunday School Year.

At the time I was reading these books I lived in Cornwall, which is in the United Kingdom. I was about ten years old. Just after my tenth birthday my family and I came to live in Australia where I discovered the amazing stories of Roald Dahl. I particularly remember Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator and James and the Giant Peach. At primary school I was a frequent visitor to the school library where I borrowed and read the Pippi Longstocking books by Astrid Lindgren and it was at about this time I discovered that I really enjoyed reading science fiction books.

I was encouraged to read at home and had always been read to as a child. I read in bed, on the couch, in my tent, on the grass, in the car, on the bus … but never, never, never at the dinner table. This was a time to chat and catch up with the goings on in the family. And we certainly weren’t allowed to watch television at meal times. In fact television was a bit of a luxury in our house as was being allowed to stay up late. Most nights I was in bed by 8pm and so had plenty of time to curl up with my favourite book. I don’t ever remember being told to stop reading or to turn my lights out but after reading for a couple of hours I can imagine that my eyelids would have made that decision for me. I was what you might call a pretty sensible child, boring others might say. I did as I was told, most of the time, including brushing my teeth, saying please and thank you and eating my vegetables, even the brussels sprouts!

Books were my escape where I could be brave, daring and brilliant. Where there were no bedtimes or manners, just adventure and excitement (without of course, any real danger). Nothing thrilled me more than to open the pages of a new book, eager to discover where I might end up and who I might meet. Books allow you to reinvent yourself; they give you permission to shine.

As an adult I still love to read. And you’ll find me in bed on a Sunday morning with my latest book texting my husband for a nice cup of tea!

© 2010 Jackie Hosking

Visit Jackie Hosking’s site for more information about her and her poetry.

"Undercover readers logo"Alphabet Soup magazine is celebrating the launch of Undercover Readers (our new reviewers club for kids)!  If you’d like to join the Undercover Readers Club, you’ll find an information pack you can download from the Alphabet Soup website. As part of the celebrations, we have a different children’s author or illustrator visiting Soup Blog each day until 29 June 2010 to talk about what they used to read after ‘lights out’ when they were growing up. So be sure to check back tomorrow!