ON THE INTEGRITY READERS BOOKS SERIES
WHY EVERY LITTLE BOY AND GIRL NEEDS TO READ THE INTEGRITY SERIES.
Growing up, I was a curious little girl who liked to know why and where and how and when. I wanted to know why the sun was up in the sky and not in the deep sea, I wanted to know why leaves were green and not purple, I even wanted to know why we put sugar and not salt in tea. And so, I read every children’s’ book I came across, and every newspapers’ young people’s section and every kids magazine.
Because I was a shy little girl, I found new friends in the stories. I met girls like me who were shy and afraid. I met little boys who lived in cottages and drank lemonades made in their backyards. I travelled to many different worlds in my books. Inside wardrobe worlds with Edmund, Lucy and Aslam in ‘The Lion, the witch and the wardrobe.’ Into wonderlands with Alice.
I wished mom would make marmalade from berries (whatever those were).
One day, While visiting my grandparents, I stumbled upon a little handmade book titled ‘Njeri’s Story’. Still curious, I read the simple story of a young girl called Njeri who, when in standard eight was convinced by her neighbor Kamau, to sleep with him. She did, just once and on realizing her mistake and how she had let her parents down. Vowed never to do it again. And so Njeri went on and completed her studies then got a job in the city. However, she started feeling bad and hence went for a checkup. Sadly Njeri was diagnosed with HIV AIDS, chased from her job and went home to wait for a death. Yet she had just had sex just once in her life, a long while back.
When I finished reading this story, I was very disturbed and surprised by it. For one, I like Njeri, had also just finished class eight and was waiting for my results. Furthermore, some boys in the neighborhood kept offering to buy me soda just like Kamau.
Inasmuch as the story shocked me, I also learnt a lot from it. Just a single act by Njeri came to affect her so many years later. From then on, I decided to read books and look for answers to those questions I could not ask my parents. Every time I faced a challenge, I thought of how the little boys and girls in the story books went about their problems and the lessons they learnt in the end. This helped me to be a good child(at least that’s what my parents say.) Even as I grew into a bashful adolescent and teen in later years, Njeri’s story did play a big role in the decisions I made then as I related with the opposite sex and dealt with the wonderment of adolescent emotions.
I was very careful. I didn’t want to end up like Njeri.
TODAYS CHILD FACES MANY CHALLENGES (for an audience of older children)
As a teacher, I have many friends who are teens. Spending time with then has taught me one thing, today’s child experiences a lot more challenges than yesterday’s. Among the most common ones are lack of exemplary role models to identify with. Very few people who are supposed to be role models are actually honest and hardworking. Many ‘successful adults take bribes, steal or even do wrong things intentionally. How then is a child supposed to look up to this person?
There are also too many forms of entertainment available to today’s’ child. How then are young people supposed to choose between movies, social media, hanging out and books and what are the advantages of reading?
Recently, I have been reading a new series of books titled ‘integrity readers’ by Moran publishers. These are amazing picture filled, humorous stories about little boys and girls facing challenges in school, at home and even while travelling on the road. As I read these stories, I couldn’t help but identify with the characters.
One of my favourites in the Moran integrity series is ‘The Flying Pigman’. In this captivating story, a little boy joins a new school only to come face to face with bullies led by one Rufus who are out to frustrate his stay in the school. They steal his carving knife but soon learn that the new boy is also a star at football, easily the teachers darling and a natural leader. A looming football match places the little super boy between a rock and a hard place and he has to choose between doing the right thing and pleasing his friends.
This story by William Maina Mureithi is a must read for any teen who has been to or is planning to attend a boarding school. And it has loads of lessons on nurturing talents too.
In yet another story by the same author, ‘Holes of Shame’, one cannot help but feel sorry for little Huru who turns down an opportunity to attend a national school and instead settles for a local school. Reason? She hopes to find out about her parents. To know who she is. And so we join her as she unravels ugly long buried secrets that could lead to her knowing who she is. However, this requires opening up holes of shame, and some high ended government officials aren’t too happy.
Other titles in the series are also wonderful. Like ‘Saving Isabel’, the story of an orphan girl turned city robber and ‘My Chameleon friend’, the story of why chameleons keep changing color
Through very interesting and captivating stories told in an easy and fun way, moran has excellently addressed modern day themes and issues and hence spoken to every modern child helping s/he walk through childhood, teenage-hood and into adulthood without compromising their stands .
Any child who reads these books will be left determined to take a stand.
As a student, I remember wondering why we had to read. Why didn’t we just play ? Now, years later, I now understand why:
• One travels far far away with the characters in the story and this is so much fun.
• It is a positive way of spending your energy and time because you can never get into mischief by reading. Plus it develops your IQ, your brain power.
• Character development. In the stories, one meets role models who are admirable and many children will copy this admirable characters and appy them to their life.
• Knowledge on emerging issues; knowledge is power and those who have it are ahead of those who do not.
• Leaders are readers. Good leaders are those who are aware of what is happening around them. What better way to get this information than through reading.
WHERE IS THE TIME TO READ?
Create it. Everyone who has ever lived, from great scientists like Albert Einstein to successful leaders like Nelson Mandela have always had 24 hours in a day. Set aside some time to do what will build you i.e. to read. Make a promise. Write it in your journal and honor it. Success is when opportunity meets a prepared person. Use all the resources given by God and your environment. Visit public libraries in your area, observe your surrounding and be open to learning.
Like someone said ‘You can take a book anywhere, and a book can take you anywhere’. And Moran Publishers do take you places, in a very fun and thoughtful way.