An article for bookaid.org

World Book Day 2016 favourite characters #12

 

Happy World Book Day! We hope you have lots of fun booky activities planned to celebrate!

Today we’re continuing to remember all the brilliant characters there are in children’s literature and to kick us off this World Book Day, we are delighted to welcome children’s author Emma Cox to tell us about her favourite fictional character.

I love Lyra Belacqua from Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy.

 

I love her because she runs through the pages of her books as an unstoppable force. I love that she is such a great liar and she delights in using this skill. When she sees it is possible, Lyra is ready to leave the world she was born in and she is not afraid to do so. Lyra falls in love with Will and she’s not afraid of that, either. I love that the universe has chosen her – I am very fond of prophecy in literature. Lyra says the greatest lines. When asked (by a threatening sort of dark-alleyway man) who her father is she replies, ‘He’s a murderer.’ (And he is – it’s no lie.) Lyra believes in magic and beauty and anything that falls from the sky. Her sense of justice is compelling. I love that she’s female in the toughest, best of ways. She is unique and strong and she just wants adventure: high up, down low, this world, that world, doesn’t matter. You know that her knees are always going to be muddy and grazed and her fingernails dirty and broken. Her motivation is always love and friendship, and helping others, and those are things worth lying for. Once I met Philip Pullman. It was in Marks and Spencer at Paddington station. The children I teach have always asked the If you could meet one person question. It’s always been him. And there he was! I had one of those That looks like… That is! moments. And I knew I was going to be my most embarrassing self, and already I was shaking, but I had to speak to him. He was possibly a little afraid, but his wife was so kind and calming and understanding and I got him to sign a Paddington Bear postcard for me. I bought wine, got on the train, and felt ecstatic all the way home.


Find out more about World Book Day here.

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