Thirteen-year-old Auckland girl Kate Chandulal would love to be just like everyone else. Diagnosed with scoliosis at birth, Kate contracted meningitis at the age of five and now regards Starship Children’s Hospital as her second home.
Seeking solace in reading and with a gift for storytelling, Kate has just written book A Walk in My Shoes, which was launched at a morning tea in Auckland this week. The launch was hosted by publishers Scholastic and Global Ed (GES), and attended by teaching staff from Starship Children’s Hospital, Skylight, family and friends.
Among the many tributes read out at the launch was one by Heather Henare, CE Skylight, who said, “Kate, you are a great role model for anyone faced with adversity – despite the struggles and pain, you have managed to push through and turn your experiences into hope for others. Your message of resilience and hope which you embody, is the same message that Skylight also promotes.”
Kate hopes that the publication of her book will foster greater understanding among her peers and reach children all over the world. She challenges readers to “walk in her shoes” and to have empathy for those whose lives are different from their own. Kate’s message is also one of resilience and hope; despite her physical limitations, Kate remains cheerful and positive about life.
Kate says, “My longing in life is to be like others, to belong and not be left out, like the ugly duckling was in the story. When I experience rejection or become an object to poke fun at, I have a heavy sinking sadness inside and want to ask, “Why are you being so mean? I’m just like you inside.”
Global Ed (GES) are the proud publisher of A Walk in My Shoes, which they publish in conjunction with Scholastic as part of their ‘Into Connectors’ series. Scholastic will make the book available to every school in New Zealand and GES will sell it to schools internationally. GES have already struck deals with educational distributors in the UK, US, North Africa and the Middle East.
GES Director and educator Jill Eggleton met Kate while volunteering at Starship Children’s Hospital in a teaching support role. Bowled over by Kate’s bubbly personality and imaginative writing skills, Jill said,
“A Walk in My Shoes is a gem; an honest, thought-provoking story from the heart of a courageous young girl for whom living is a constant challenge.”
“We have published hundreds of books and this is the first time we have published one by an author as young as Kate, which in itself, is a remarkable achievement,” said Eggleton.
Source : Scoop , 13th April 2017