Lewisham special needs teacher goes her own way to publish book – and raise money for charity


A children’s author is giving the proceeds of her debut book to foodbanks after growing up in poverty.

Author Ruth Thomas, 39, from Lewisham is a special needs teacher at Lewisham college. The mum-of-two was raised by her father after her mother’s early death from cancer.

Ruth grew up experiencing food poverty and living in insecure housing after her father was made redundant and her childhood home was repossessed.

She said: “Like many thousands of people across south London, I personally experienced food poverty for much of my childhood.”

“I know only too well how easy it is to fall into food poverty and I want to do my bit to help others.”

Scene from Miss Kelly and the Blasted Berry Battle

“I’ve always loved to write stories but, being working class and from a council estate, I didn’t believe it was something someone from my background could realistically achieve. However, the feedback from my debut book has been amazing.”

“The idea for Miss Kelly and the Blasted Berry Battle came to me in a dream. The dream was so vivid that I woke up and started writing it in the middle of the night.”

The story is about a fight between mischievous berries and creatures in a magical garden called ‘Miss Kelly and the Blasted Berry Battle’.

Miss Kelly and the Blasted Berry Battle

The author said that she decided to publish the book herself after her publishing company wanted to make the main character Miss Kelly, who is a black, elderly woman, younger and racially ambiguous.

The book has received rave reviews. One reviewer said: “I absolutely fell in love with the characters especially Mr Huffledung and his grumpy but loveable personality! My daughters aged 2 and 8 love the exciting adventures of the berries and getting to know the characters personal stories. Highly recommend this book for both children and adults plus the book is an excellent gift.

Another said: “Beautiful , funny, moving!! I’m an adult & absolutely loved it! Really recommend reading it and immersing yourself into a new world! Great cause with all proceeds of sales going to Trussell Trust food bank.”

The author is releasing a sequel in early 2021.

Until 31 December, all proceeds will go to the Trussell Trust foodbanks in south London.

You can purchase the book by going to the page https://www.amazon.co.uk/Miss-Kelly-Blasted-Berry-Battle/dp/1838212205/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr= 
or https://www.camberwellarts.org.uk/shop-local/p/miss-kelly


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