Thornton Heath author Muriel Kingsley learned to read when she was 40 at Croydon adult education class
An author, who only learned to read and write at the age of 40, is due to publish her third book this month.
Muriel Kingsley, who was born in Jamaica, has written three children’s stories with her latest book Emily’s Great Adventure, due to be available in Croydon libraries and online.
The 69-year-old moved to Britain at age 26 and started writing the short stories after finally learning to read and write at a Croydon adult education class.
Ms Kingsley has lived in Thornton Heath for more than 10 years.
She said it was difficult not being able to read and write and found it hard navigating her way around because she couldn’t read street names.
The stories tell the adventures of little girls growing up in Jamaica and are based on her own life in 1950s Jamaica.
She said: "We were very poor in Jamaica and sometimes my father couldn’t afford the dinner money. I went to work at the age of 13.
"At a young age, my mother often sent me to the shops with a shopping list, so those things were the only things I could read when I came to England."
She added: "One time it took me one hour to find my way home. It should have taken five minutes, but all the streets looked the same to me and I lost my way."
Ms Kingsley, who has 13 grandchildren and six children, said she loves reading to her family, with some of her youngest grandchildren always asking her to read her stories.
"The characters in my stories are based on my grandchildren. It is quite special being able to read my stories to them.
"I have read my stories in a couple of schools and I love seeing the brightness in their faces when they listen to my stories."
She added: "I love writing and I love words. I love putting them down on paper and then reading them back."
Her previous two books, Two Little Mice and Mary-Ann and Mary-Ann’s Grandma’s Ghost Story, are both available from ahstockwell.co.uk.