by Josh Lacey, author of Hope Jones Saves The World.

Where are you going on your summer holidays? Anywhere interesting?

I’m going to be climbing some mountains in the Himalayas and searching for the yeti. I’ll probably spent a night or two in a Buddhist monastery, then another few nights sheltering in a cave, watching a terrible storm sweep across the snowy landscape.

When I come down from those Tibetan peaks, I shall travel to a camp in Texas, where the heat is intense, the lizards are poisonous, and the mean-tempered warden insists that every inmate digs a deep hole each day.

Josh Lacey, writer

From Texas, I shall go into outer space, hitching a lift on an alien cargo ship, then exploring the universe with a few old friends, including a two-headed man who was once President of the Galaxy.

And then… Oh, I don’t know. I might visit the the bottom of the ocean, hop on a mission to the moon, or take a time machine to find out how they really built Stonehenge.

As you must have guessed by now, I won’t really be travelling to any of these places during my holidays – or not in my body, anyway, just in my imagination. Books will take me around the world, backwards and forwards in time, and into the minds of other people (or aliens).

A book is the greatest travelling machine ever invented, much better than a car, a plane, a bicycle, or a rocket, because its pages allow your brain to go anywhere, be anyone, and see anything. Every year when I was young, I might have been stuck on a boring family holiday, but I didn’t mind, because I was seeing the world through the pages of so many books.

Pick up a book. See where it takes you. Explore the world through your imagination. Particularly this year, when so many of us can’t go on holiday, and coronavirus is limiting what we can do and who we can see, books are the best possible way to travel.

Oh – and if you’re wondering about those books that I mentioned at the beginning, they are three of my favourite novels: Tintin in Tibet, Holes, and The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. I’ve read each of them many times, and am already looking forward to reading them again this summer. Why don’t you read them too?

Hope Jones Saves the World is the latest book by Andersen Press author Josh Lacey. It tells the tale of spirited Hope Jones, a 10-year-old who gives up plastic and hopes to inspire others to do the same through her website. 

Josh is is the author of many books for children including The Island of ThievesThe Dragonsitter and the Grk series. He has worked as a journalist and written one book for adults, God is Brazilian. His first book for children, A Dog Called Grk, was shortlisted for the Branford Boase Award. Josh lives in London with his wife and daughters.