I can still remember the moment I finished reading my first book, sitting in a busy kitchen on the west coast of Ireland, legs swinging, dinner being cooked around me, as the Red Hen bested the Sly Fox and I bested the written word. That’s how it felt, even as a 4-year old - I could do this on my own. A world opened to me in that moment.
Years later, I became a teacher and relived that same moment again and again, as the door into the world of books unlocked for so many children. I watched them set off on their journey to far flung places and magical worlds, become heroes that solved mysteries and slayed monsters, dream of independence and agency. I watched them disappear into a world of imagination and possibility.
But not all. There were always a few who stumbled, who needed an adult reading along, who slowly developed tricks to avoid books. Their friends swapped books filled with magic and superheroes and we all pretended that it didn't matter that they were still struggling through "baby books". But it did matter.
It does matter.
I studied further. Specialising in dyslexia and in reading difficulties, I started working with individual children, creating materials for just where they were. And they learned and developed successfully there, just where they were, in that safe space.
But that safe space wasn’t the real world and, in the real world, they weren’t safe. They were different, excluded.
They wanted to be reading the same books as their friends. They wanted the magic and adventure of those stories; the escape, the dive into those worlds. But how could they dive in when half of the words were sharp rocks and the long, complicated sentences kept washing them back to shore?
I knew the safe space wasn't enough, so Bux Books was born. There are already books on the market that are written especially for children with reading difficulties. But they are not the books that their friends are reading. They don’t make them part of the gang, make them feel included. They may be reading but they’re still outsiders.
The mission of Bux Books is to give those children the same books, the same stories as their friends, yet easier to read. Making them independent and making them feel like they belong, just like everybody else!