BASSETERRE, St. Kitts – BBC Leeds recently featured CaribbeanReads author Juleus Ghunta in a segment on how learning to read changed his life.
Ghunta, who hails from Hanover, Jamaica had a challenging childhood and subliterate until he was 12 years old. Although forced to repeat the sixth grade, he later matriculated to one of Hanover’s top secondary schools where he became Student of the Year in 2005.
The first-time author of the children’s book Tata and the Big Bad Bull, appeared on BBC in January and shared how reading opened “an entirely new world.”
“I went to school to survive home. Home was not a sanctuary. School was tough, teachers were often abusive, but I had friends and that helped. It was a good distraction. I joined many club activities in order to have legitimate reasons to stay out as late as possible,” recalls Ghunta. “I wasn’t a good student, but I knew that education was my only way out of poverty. The year I learned to read I felt that if I continued working hard, I could make it.”
In 2018, Ghunta completed his Chevening Scholar year with a Master of Arts in Peace Studies with distinction from the University of Bradford.
“We are extremely proud to be a part of Juleus’ journey,” said Carol Mitchell, Founder of CaribbeanReads, which published Tata and the Big Bad Bull. “His dedication to his craft as an author and to his community service is a continuous inspiration.”
Tata loves going to school, but the only way he can get there is through Pellken Pasture, which is fiercely guarded by the Big Bad Bull. Can Tata figure out how to get past the angry bull and make it to school on time?
Written by Juleus Ghunta and illustrated by Ann-Cathrine Loo, the book, Ghunta says is a story of forgiveness and learning to see things from other people’s perspectives.