Creative, Successful, Dyslexic - More about Margaret Rooke

Margaret Rooke pictured with Benjamin Zephaniah

Some time ago I published an excerpt from a special book called 'Creative, Successful, Dyslexic. 23 High Acheivers Share Their Stories', about the famous ballet dancer Darcey Bussell.

I contacted the author of this amazing book, Margaret Rooke to see if she would be kind enough to tell us more.....

Margaret writes...

Six months ago my book ‘Creative, Successful, Dyslexic. 23 High Achievers Share Their Stories’ was published. Since then I have given a string of talks to local dyslexia groups, universities and schools. I have met many fascinating and lovely people, some with dyslexia and others who live and work with them. I have learnt so much from them all.

These very many conversations have helped me hone my message. This means for my next batch of talks (turn away now if I am coming to your neck of the woods) my focus will be clear. Success and dyslexia – it’s all about support.

I knew this in many ways at the start. One of the things that most of the successful people in my book have in common is that when they were growing up they had an adult on their side who helped them keep their self-belief intact.

Sometimes this was a teacher – for Prime Suspect writer Lynda La Plante for instance. Usually this was a parent – for comedian and broadcaster Marcus Brigstocke or ballerina and Strictly judge Darcey Bussell.

This backing helped them realise that, although they struggled in many ways at school, they had talent and strengths and life after school would be their time to shine.
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That’s not to say that everyone with dyslexia can become a millionaire like Sir Richard Branson. However everyone can be the very best they can be at whatever they do. In the words of three times world champion racing driver Sir Jackie Stewart, who puts his success down to his tremendous attention to detail, ‘If I had been a window cleaner I would have been the best window cleaner.’

Don’t just rely on me for a burst of positivity. Check out others who have researched in this field: Chathurika Kannangara from the University of Bolton who looks at ‘Signature strengths’ of those with dyslexia (; and author and SENCO Neil Alexander-Passe ( and his very specific tip for parents and teachers to support and help the children in their care to do their best, “Acknowledge your child’s effort and not what they achieve,” he says. Simple as that.

*Creative Successful Dyslexic. 23 High Achievers Share Their Stories. By Margaret Rooke. Jessica Kingsley Publishers.  With special credit to Caroline Eluyemi - Available from Amazon