Friday 21 February 2014

School Visit: Sydenham High School

I'd like to say a big thank you to Pauline Jiminez and Sydenham High School for inviting me to visit last week!  I had the pleasure of meeting some really fantastic Year 6s, 5s and 4s, and talking to them all about writing.  It was very inspiring for me to hear so much enthusiasm for books out there, and so many great stories and dreams!

It was amazing at the end to see how many people wanted to buy a copy of Phoenix – so many that the bookseller sold out! If there's anyone who didn't manage to get a copy on the day but would still like one, here's a link to my publishers' page, where the 'buy now' button links to lots of places you can order it, including Foyles, Waterstones, Blackwells, WH Smith, Amazon, and local independent booksellers via Hive:

Friday 14 February 2014

School Visits: Bancrofts Prep School & Oakridge School

I had the great pleasure of visiting Bancrofts Prep School last year – here's the blog post I made at the time.  It was a brilliant visit, so I was excited to hear from Joe Layburn, the fantastic Head (and fellow author) that they wanted me to come back again this year.  If anything, this year's visit was even better than last time, so I'd like to say a heartfelt thank you to everyone at Bancrofts for their wonderful welcome – especially all the amazing Year 4s who've been working on Varjak Paw!

I also visited Oakridge School last week, where I met some fantastic Year 6s & Year 5s who were working on Varjak Paw and The Outlaw Varjak Paw.  I had some brilliant comments here on my site even before the visit, so I was prepared to meet some great readers – but even so, it was inspiring for me to hear all the enthusiasm for books and reading out there!  Thank you so much to everyone I met – and if you'd like to see the Phoenix book trailer again, here it is!

Thursday 6 February 2014

School Visits: Park Hill Junior School

Late last year, I received one of the nicest letters I've ever read.  It was from a teacher called Sally Greenaway at a school called Park Hill, in Kenilworth.  She had just used Phoenix as a class book with her Year 6s – the first teacher I know of who has done this – and she was writing to let me know how it had gone:
"We began our space topic in September and this book worked perfectly alongside our topic work... When reading the book in the classroom, you could hear a pin drop and the children got thoroughly lost in the story of Lucky...  Thank you for writing such a moving and stimulating book."
She also enclosed some letters that her class had written to me.  They were so amazing that I really wanted to meet the people who wrote them!  So I offered to go and visit.

I discovered that they'd done a huge amount of fascinating work.  They'd visited the National Space Centre in Leicester, to learn more about the stars.  They'd made diaries from various characters' points of view; made newspaper articles and fact files; they'd even made Axxa boots!  Unfortunately I didn't get to see the boots, but I did see some of their writing and it was outstanding!

It was fantastic to meet these brilliant readers and writers, and to hear all their thoughts and questions about the book.  It was also great to meet all the Year 4s and 3s who were doing Varjak Paw at the same time!  So I'd just like to thank everyone at Park Hill for the wonderful warm welcome.

I found a lovely comment here on my site shortly after the visit:
Hi, I am called Molly
I am from Park hill Junior school in Kenilworth and you visited my school today I wanted to thank you
Thank you very much, Molly! And if anyone else would like to leave a comment about the visit or my books, this is the place to do it!