What the Dickens

It was the best of times for young Dickens fan Deepak Hera who was one of the winners of St. Thomas More Catholic School’s Book Challenge.

Deepak, who is aged only 11, has a great passion for English Literature and has already read many of the Dickens’ classics including Great Expectations and a Christmas Carol.

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Deepak, 11, from Bilston, said: “My sister recommended Dickens. She didn’t say I had to read the book, but if I gave it a chance I might like it and she was right. There are so many wonderful characters involved in such fast moving plots. I feel lucky that he wrote so much and there is so much more to read.”

Deepak is pictured with fellow Book Challenge winners Mandeep Bhandal, 12, from Bilston, who loves Michael Morpergo; Jagada Kurzawa, 11, from Willenhall, who is a fan of Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson series and Dwaa Karim, 11, from Bilston, who nominates the timeless Roald Dahl.

St. Thomas More’s Catholic School’s Year 7 Book Challenge promotes a passion for the written word by testing children’s listening, comprehension and observation skills and is part of the Walsall Library Service literacy programme.

St. Thomas More Catholic School’s Librarian Wendy Simcox said: “With his vast vocabulary and complex plots and characterisation, Dickens is a somewhat sophisticated and rather unusual choice for an 11-year-old as most people now only appreciate his vernacular later in life.

“However, Deepak has a real love of the written word and is not afraid to challenge himself by learning from one of the greatest social commentators and story tellers in the English language.”

(Wolverhampton Express and Star, Catholic Times and Catholic Universe)