A LITTLE girl with a visual impairment has been granted her wish to read the same books as her friends thanks to a children’s charity.

Kayleigh Ann Hayes has received what is thought to be the largest copy of Harry Potter in the world.

The eight-year-old from Harestock, Winchester, was born with congenital bilateral cateracts and microphthalmia, which means her eyes failed to develop.

The keen bookworm can only read large text so until now she has been unable to keep up with her friends and start reading the seven children’s books.

Kayleigh was sent a signed copy of all seven of the JK Rowling stories with text printed in 40 point print size with 1.5 line spacing – big enough for her to read.

The books, spanning 101 volumes the size of phone books, were printed by Blind Children UK’s CustomEyes book enlargement service.

The charity, formerly the National Blind Children’s Society (NBCS), supports visually impaired youngsters and their families through services including CustomEyes which is able to provide more than 3,000 large print books, specially printed for individual needs.

Blind Children UK’s CustomEyes National Development Manager Nigel Betts said: “This is the largest version of the Harry Potter books we’ve ever produced.

“I suspect it’s probably the largest in the world. It’s absolutely wonderful to be able to help children like Kayleigh access books like this.”

Kayleigh’s mum Debbie, 37, a warrant officer for the Royal Military Police, said: “Lots of Kayleigh’s friends are into Harry Potter already, so she has been saying for ages that she would like to read them. It’s great because now Kayleigh can read on her own. It makes her that little bit more independent. She can sit in bed and read with a torch, like any other child might, which is wonderful.

“She loves to write stories so I’m sure that reading by herself will improve her writing. We can’t thank Blind Children UK enough.”

Kayleigh, a pupil at Harestock Primary School, said: “I think it’s brilliant that my Harry Potter books have been signed by the lady who wrote them. She also sent me a nice letter, saying she was delighted I can read them for the first time and that she hopes I like them. I can’t wait to start reading them like all my friends.”

For more information about the book enlarging service, email customeyes@blindchildrenuk.org or visit blindchildrenuk.org.


Kayleigh’s Harry Potter books span 101 volumes

Each book is the size of a phone book

The text is printed in 40 point print size with 1.5 line spacing

The biggest book in the series is Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, the fifth book, which is 7,141 pages long, split into 28 volumes.

Kayleigh’s copy of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix has twice the number of pages of the original copy of the entire series, which had 340, and eight times more than the original copy of the book, which was 870 pages long.

More than 400m copies of Harry Potter have been sold making it one of the best-selling book series in history.

It has been translated into 73 languages.