For our third instalment of the Rockstar Readers series, Gabrielle Prieto joined us to explain the important things that reading has given her life.

“Reading has given me a deeper sense of empathy,” she says, “when I read, I learn to relate to characters and learn to see things from others’ perspectives. This helps me connect to other people and be a part of their story. Reading teaches me to always get to know a person rather than judging.”

This capacity for kindness, empathy and non-judgement are much needed qualities in these challenging and turbulent times. Gabrielle emphasises that it is through reading that she has come to understand the world with a broader perspective, “Reading allows me to reflect on my choices, my relationships and my identity. Often, characters go through life-changing events and lose themselves. Reading books helps me to understand how to maintain friendships, the importance of family, belonging and being your true self.”

Gabrielle is clear that reading doesn’t just helped her to become more empathetic and compassionate person, “Reading widely also ensures that I improve academically: I have a wide vocabulary. Even in maths, being a reader keeps me to stay on my toes so that I am always ready to tackle a problem or find a solution.” Finally, aside from the human and academic benefits, Gabrielle also finds reading for pleasure is great for her wellbeing, providing her with much needed “time to wind down.”

So how can more Hume Anglican Grammar students become Rockstar Readers? Gabrielle’s advice is to, “Look for topics you’re interested in: books in your favourite genres can make reading fun and interesting. Having said that, it’s also vital to step out of your comfort zone. Reading different genres can be refreshing and help you grow as a person. The most important thing is to make time to read: use little chunks of your day, like when you’re sitting in the car or before class starts.”

So where could Hume Anglican Grammar readers start if they are looking for a great read? According to Gabrielle, for younger readers it might be “Pippi Longstocking”, or for Years 3 - 6 and Secondary students the Twisted Tales, Percy Jackson, Harry Potter, Hunger Games and Nevermoor series.

“Morrigan Crow from the Nevermoor series is courageous. She has helped me understand the importance of family and the importance of belonging. Annabeth Chase from the Percy Jackson series has showed me that I can be both strong and smart. She inspires me to chase my dreams and I admire how loyal she is to her friends.”  

It is abundantly clear from this conversation that Gabrielle is an impressive, strong, articulate and fiercely smart person and we are excited to see where her journey takes her throughout her schooling years – and beyond!

Siana Einfeld - Library Assistant