Jun 25, 2014

A Book that Moved Me

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Once upon a time, they were part of our growing up years. Now, do you still remember the ones that moved you?

I do. And surprise surprise, it was not one of those science fantasy or all action gung-ho boys stuff books. In fact, I am a tad embarrassed to divulge that one of my all-time favourite childhood books was this.

Yes, the first book of 'The Naughtiest Girl' series. 

Written by by Enid Blyton and first published in 1940, The Naughtiest Girl in the School told the tale of Elizabeth Allen who has been spoilt rotten by her parents. She becomes very upset and outraged when she learns that she is being sent to a boarding school. When Elizabeth joins Whyteleafe School she is determined to misbehave so that she will be expelled and able to go back home as soon as possible.

I think the main thing that I found Elizabeth to be such a compelling character when I was young was the fact that her misbehaviour at school was the stuff that childhood is made of. Yes, Elizabeth is spoilt and highly naughty, and yet smart and independent too. She's not beyond disrupting a class to get what she wants. But despite all this, she has still a very nice heart. She goes out of her way to help a friend, even though she breaks a dozen rules to do this. Even though she is trying to behave badly to be sent home, she truly struggles against making things hard for other people.

I like it that the book is sweet and pretty much timeless. The plot is rather straightforward, and just plain uncomplicated, with no extreme evil and of course, a happy ending. Amazingly enough, this book is ranked as one of the wifey's fave childhood books as well!

Sadly, the copy that I owned was given away when I moved house. That, and pretty much most of my other story books that I grew up with.

For Jasmine though, it was an entirely different story altogether. She was reunited with the book that went on to kindle her life-long passion for reading and writing. The one book that she thought she had lost but remained dear to her heart.

I strongly recommend giving the video a view. It stirred more than a few emotions in me while watching it, as it made me reminisce about the books that I have read during my childhood... along with some of the nonsensical scribbles and doodles that I have made in some of my books.

And this is precisely what the campaign 'Books that moved me' seeks to achieve. 

Organised by The Singapore Memory Project (SMP) - a whole-of-nation movement that aims to capture and document precious moments and personal memories of Singapore - the campaign serves to trigger memories about the joy of reading and books, and hopefully allow us to reunite with the forgotten stories from our childhood. And in line with the Books that Moved Me campaign, SMP will be holding two showcases at the following 2 venues:

Date: 20 June - 31 August 2014
Venue: Lobby, Level 1, National Library Building
This showcase features 40 reinterpretations of book covers, from local titles to international best-sellers and literary classics. A collaboration between SMP and KULT, artists from Singapore and overseas will present their take on book covers well-loved by the public, such as the works by Enid Blyton, Shakespeare and Catherine Lim.  The artworks, accompanied by memories from readers, will be showcased in an SMRT train and at the lobby of the National Library Building. 

Date: 20 June – 31 August 2014
Venue: B1, Central Public Library, National Library Building  
SMP embarked on a journey to reunite old books with old friends, and the result is a reunion showcase for avid readers with popular books of yesteryears and recent times. This showcase invites the public to contribute their memories of reading and books. Activities will also be held over selected weekends for the public. 

But that is not all. SMP had actually scoured through various second hand bookshops and found a collection of old books full of scribbles and doodles. And they are actively looking to seek out the previous owners of these books so as to reunite them with the keepsakes from the past! 

Do take a look at the collection of the old books HERE and if you think you know the owner of one of those books, do let them know too! Or you could also share your fondest memories of the books that have moved you in the photo album. (Do note though that all content submitted will be contributed to the Singapore Memory Project. Please visit iremember.sg to find out more.)

On a personal note, if anyone out there is holding on to a copy of The Naughtiest Girl in the School with a scribble on its title page that reads, "This book belongs to Kelvin Ang. PAY $100 TO READ THIS BOOK!", you know who to contact.

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Ai Sakura said...

My mum gave away my books when we moved house too!! *sobs sobs*

Ai @ Sakura Haruka

Kelvin Ang said...

Hi Ai,

I understand how that feels! Even worse, my mum gave away my old Transformers and MASK toys too! Very heartbreaking. :(

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