Published in the Guardian, Feb 2.
Apropos Professor Krashen’s letter (2 February) on the need to invest in libraries rather than phonics tests, as a young child I was taken every Saturday morning by my father to the local library to change the three books I would have got through during the week. I was lucky in coming from a family who read. But at the time my father’s leftwing politics lost him two jobs and we were among the “just about managing”. Without the local library and Miss Blackwell, the librarian, I would never have encountered Moomintroll, Narnia, John Masefield’s The Midnight Folk or George Macdonald’s At the Back of the North Wind – all of which have contributed to the successful novels I have, as an adult, produced. I very much doubt that phonics would have had the same creative influence on my career.
More about Salley Vickers: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salley_Vickers#cite_ref-OKelly_4-1
My letter and sources at: http://skrashen.blogspot.com/2017/01/two-kinds-of-reading-tests-important.html