5 minutes with.... Rt Hon Alan Johnson MP

Published on: 15 October 2014 Author: Alan Johnson

Alan JohnsonThe Rt Hon Alan Johnson MP spoke at the launch of Letterbox Club's Orange Parcel (October 2014) for Children aged 5-7 in care across the UK.

The MP and author has spoken about how important books were when he was growing up, and this has become a big part of his two memoirs, This Boy and Please, Mr Postman. Here, Alan Johnson MP talks about the books that have impacted him and becoming patron of The Letterbox Club.

As a patron of Letterbox Club, Booktrust's award-winning postal programme for children in care and adopted children, why do you think these children in particular will benefit from receiving books in their monthly parcels?

Because every child could become an avid reader if they are introduced to books early in their lives. The Charity acts as a default parent in bringing words into the lives of children in care.

When you were a child growing up in Notting Hill are there any books in particular that you loved reading?

Shane by Jack Schaefer and The Coral Island by R M Ballantyne

Are there any books that you think you missed out on and would like to send back through time to your 10 year old self?

Yes. Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson

Your books - Please, Mr Postman and This Boy - are very autobiographical, do you think you'll try and write a fiction novel?

I'd love to and I have an idea. As Somerset Maugham once said: 'There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately nobody knows what they are.'

Can you remember any books being really popular amongst politicians during your time in Government?

Yes - The Spirit Level by Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett

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