Sir Lenny Henry takes to stage in Dudley & surrounding areas for World Book Day

The actor, comedian and author stopped off at Brierley Hill Civic Hall on Tuesday February 28 to read excerpts from his children’s books including the latest ‘The Boy with Wings: Attack of the Rampaging Robot’ which is part of this year’s World Book Day £1 books line-up.

The book, which along with a selection of others, is available to buy for just £1 as part of the book campaign which aims to promote reading and a love of books.

Sir Lenny praised the World Book Day initiative for “the way it helps give every child the chance to choose and own a book of their own and encourage reading for pleasure” and he told how he was inspired to write his own books to help bring a bit of diversity to literature.

Speaking to the News, he said: “I grew up loving books about the supernatural, ghosts, horror, superheroes, all that stuff, all the Lord of the Rings stuff, and when I was reading these things I never saw characters that looked like me or spoke like me; they weren’t from Dudley, they weren’t really working class, and they definitely weren’t black.”

He added: “I think it was Toni Morrison, the brilliant author, who said if there isn’t a book out there that you want to read then you should probably write it.”

He said he hoped hearing his story, would help to inspire youngsters to have fun writing their own stories – about their own adventures.

Sir Lenny’s latest read once again follows Tunde Wilkinson, an ordinary boy who also happens to be a winged superhero, and in this new outing the young literary hero must use his special powers to try to save his hometown from the terrors of an evil robot.

Around 600 youngsters from Dudley borough schools were treated to a reading from the book, and others, by Sir Lenny himself at an event at the civic hall – held in association with World Book Day and the National Literacy Trust.

The Black Country-born star, who became famous after winning TV talent competition New Faces in the 1975 and more recently has been winning new fans in his role in Amazon’s Lord of the Rings series, also chatted about life growing up in Dudley & surrounding areas and how his auntie Pearl triggered his love of books by sending him to Dudley Library.

He also threw in a few jokes for good measure and said it was great to be back close to home but it’s not unusual as his sisters still live nearby so he often visits the area.

‘The Boy with Wings: Attack of the Rampaging Robot’ is available from book sellers for just £1 as part of the World Book Day promotion (until Sunday March 26).

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