Book proves that hard work pays off

Alex Cullum could not read until he was eight years old and he later discovered that not only was he dyslexic but he had problems with spelling and difficulty with numbers.

Alex Cullum could not read until he was eight years old and he later discovered that not only was he dyslexic but he had problems with spelling and difficulty with numbers.

But on Wednesday he went back to the classroom in the area where he grew up and read from his first published children's book, Rugly Puffs, the Bear Detective.

His message to the youngsters at Thompson Primary School, was clear and simple - even if you have difficulties with learning at school don't give up because sheer hard work can bring results, as in Alex's case.

Despite being told at his high school that he would never be able to go to university because his English and Maths were so poor, he worked hard and proved those forecasts wrong.


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He did, in fact, go to university and went on to achieve his PhD in geology and now lives and works in Norway where he is involved in the oil exploration industry.

He explained, during a break from reading to some pupils, that the books he was given at school were really dull and uninspiring and so he wrote about the Bear detective in an exciting way in the hope that it would inspire the reader who may be struggling like he had been.

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He very much regards his writing as a hobby and says that it would not be lucrative enough for him to make it his main occupation but wants to go on and get more of his work published.

“Currently my book is sold online but my ultimate achievement is to walk into leading bookstores and see it on the bookshelves and if I could do that I would be very happy,” he said.

Alex, 40, has written two more stories in the Rugly Puffs series and these are due to be published later this year.

He and his wife, Susan, have two small children, Ella, three, and seven-month-old Ida, and they read them lots of books in both English and Norwegian.

“I'm sure all parents feel that they could write better books than some of those they read. I have voiced this opinion too many times and people have responded by saying 'ok prove it',” he said.

More information can be obtained through www.ruglypuffs.com

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