Who are you?
Hi! My name is Mia Rajaratnam, I am 13 years old and a Year 9 student at Rangitoto College. I am half English and half Srilankan and moved to New Zealand when I was two years old. I have two dogs who are the best in the world. Kodi is a toy cavoodle and Fern is a cavoodle mixed with a little bit of labrador. I love to bake, go to the beach, see my friends, and spend time with my family. I have loved reading my whole life, from my dad reading and me just looking at the pictures to the novels I read today. Reading at night just before I go to sleep is my favourite because it gives me a chance to calm down before bed.
When you’re not reading, what do you love doing?
When I am not reading, I am dancing. I dance every day after school and sometimes before school too. I have been dancing since I was five and now dance competitively as a soloist and in groups. Over the past two years, I have come top in my age group in New Zealand at national solo competitions and came second and then third in the overall sections. I have loved being part of three of the Rangitoto College dance teams this year and would love to do them again next year. Fun fact! I actually started dancing when I was two years old but I absolutely hated it because I was too shy. But I restarted when I was five and have loved it ever since.
What’s a book you remember reading/having read to you when you were little? Tell us all about that memory.
I remember my parents reading the Giraffes Can’t Dance book so many times when I was little. It was my all time favourite. It was about a giraffe called Gerald who really badly wanted to dance but was a very tall giraffe so couldn’t because of his crooked knees and thin legs. But finally, after getting help from a cricket he was able to dance. A close second would be Burglar Bill which was another book we read before bed and I found it so funny. Burglar Bill was about a man who would eat his stolen dinner and then go and steal lots of people’s things. But then he accidentally steals a baby and his life turns upside down! We would read upstairs in our old house on the sofas just before bed.
What are some books you’ve encountered at school?
In Year 8, I read the first Hunger Games book. I am normally not a fan of books which are about violence, survival, and adventure but I really enjoyed reading it. I just started reading the second book Catching Fire and I already can’t stop! This has influenced me to read more books which are a bit different to what I normally would and to just give things a try because I’m sure I will like it.
What are you currently reading?
I am currently reading the sixth book of the Keeper of the Lost Cities series by Shannon Messenger. I am really liking this book because it has such an interesting and complex plot so it always keeps me interested and wanting to read the next part. It is about a girl called Sophie who gets taken to the elven world to defeat the rebels the Neverseen and so her whole life changes.
What’s your favourite book?
Goodnight Mister Tom by Michelle Magorian is my favourite book because I think it is the perfect mix of storyline and description and is my favourite topic to learn about: the Second World War and the Holocaust. It has the themes of love and family throughout the tough times which makes it such a lovely book to read. I have read it four times now and did a novel study on it last year. It is about a malnourished, punished young boy who is sent to a small town in England as a refugee from World War Two by his mentally ill mother. He goes to live with gruff Mister Tom and they both become the best versions of themselves they can because of each other.
What are some mottos you live by?
Work hard, be kind, and amazing things will happen.
Try to let go of the past and focus on the present.
Don’t worry darling.
Describe your ideal weekend.
My ideal weekend would include going out for brunch with friends or family and then spending the day at the beach or swimming. Going to dance in the evening and then coming back to a barbeque with chocolate ice cream for dessert. As you can probably tell, I think Kiwi summers are the best!