Creative, Successful, Dyslexic: 23 High Achievers Share Their Stories

By Margaret Rooke

Image of the book cover beside a photo of a bookshelf and opened book on a table.

Being someone who has dyslexia, I have always wanted a famous celebrity to write a book about how they became successful even though they have dyslexia. Margaret Rooke has put together a book entitled Creative, Successful, Dyslexic: 23 High Achievers Share Their Stories, and it’s 23 times better than what I wanted. She has collected 23 memoirs written by successful British celebrities who all have dyslexia.

Really, it is 24 memoirs if you include the foreword written by Mollie King, who is a member of the very successful singing group ‘The Saturdays.’ She hated the amount of time spent on homework, and writes about how she was laughed at when she said she wanted to be a singer. People with dyslexia are often seen as low achievers, but Mollie got the last laugh here and all the way to the bank.

In the presenting memoirs, we find 23 points of view of what it is to have dyslexia. What it is like to not be able to read and write as well as those around you. We learn how dyslexia effects people in different ways. We find out about their struggles for success. For many of these celebrities, school was not a place of growth and achievement. Wealthy businessmen Sir Richard Branson and Theo Paphitis are included in the book’s nine celebrities who quit or were pushed out of school before the age of 17.

These memoirs also pointed out what these people found really helpful. The reoccurring theme that comes through, is that many of them had someone who did their best at understanding and supporting them.

As teachers and educators we need to have a good understanding of what our students with dyslexia experience. Margaret Rooke’s book give us many insights into understanding many of these experiences.

About Wayne McFarlane
Wayne McFarlane is a LSS teacher at Cobourg Collegiate Institute in District 14, Kawartha Pine Ridge.

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