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Sally Gardner is an award-winning children’s book author and illustrator. Her most well-known book is I, Coriander, and most recently she has received praise for Maggot Moon.

And due to her dyslexia, Sally couldn’t read until she was 14 years old.

Sally struggled immensely in school as a child. She had a severe form of dyslexia, and could not read without titanic effort until her teenage years. She described finding words “hard to hold on to”, lost her place easily, and couldn’t remember words from one page to the next. In fact, she sounds like a classic Optilexic!  She was diagnosed with what was then called ‘word blindness’, or dyslexia, at age 11, after years of being seen as stupid, “with a brain like a sieve”. She felt as if her teachers were looking down on her for her struggles, missing the exceptional visual and artistic abilities she had.

She describes being surprised as a young adult to find that not everybody saw pictures and moving images in her head when reading or listening to speech – she assumed that the whole world, like her, had an internal cinema running in 3D!

Sally used these skills in her first career as a theatre designer, before eventually turning to her love of stories and drawing. She has worked for many years as a prolific author and illustrator. She is a strong spokesperson for dyslexics worldwide; she believes that dyslexia is a gift, not a disability and that dyslexics should be treated as such.


Sarah Forrest is an System Coach for the Easyread System, an online phonics course that offers a revolutionary approach to help struggling readers and speller. Easyread has been specifically developed to help children with dyslexia, auditory processing disorder, highly visual learning styles and more.