Island Boy is the autobiography of the late Sir Thomas Davis.
His grand-daughter Jenner Davis was pleased and surprised to see the book was chosen for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation’s celebration of World Book and Copyright Day in April.
The book was selected by Nathalie Rossette-Cazel, the Cook Islands Ambassador to the agency, with the hope that by sharing reading and knowledge, readers around the world can connect and curb loneliness.
“I am glad that my grandfather's life story has touched her in some way. My grandfather was a true renaissance man and a great role model in many ways for the South Pacific and beyond,” said Davis.
“He would be proud to influence people through his experiences. His life story is hopefully an inspiration for young Pacific Islanders and others and shows there are no boundaries to what one can accomplish.”
“Papa Tom's international travels and experiences were all part of his long-term plan to contribute to the Cook Islands.”
Rossette-Cazel felt that she needed to choose a book from a local author and not just another book about the Pacific.
“It came naturally in my mind that Sir Tom Davis’ book was perfect as it presents the Cook Islands as a traditional and modern society.
“I felt that such extraordinary story of a successful Cook Islander coming back to serve his country and becoming its Prime minister deserved to be shared.”
During these trying times, with many of the world’s schools closed and people limiting their time spent outside, she said reading was an important opportunity.
“The power of books should be leveraged to combat isolation, reinforce ties between people, expand our horizons, while stimulating our minds and creativity.”
This book showed everything was possible with work and dedication, said Rossette-Cazel.
“Since Sir Tom Davis, our country has seen many qualified Cook Islanders doctors, students graduated from PhDs, experts in different domains staying or returning.
“It is critical to take the time to read on your own or with your children. It is a time to celebrate the importance of reading.”