Sunday 13 November 2016

Patron Of Reading: Fortismere School Year 7

I was delighted to return to Fortismere School last week for the start of my second year as their Patron Of Reading.  Patron Of Reading is a brilliant scheme in which authors don't just visit a school once, but return several times to help spread the love of reading.  I was invited to do this last year by Fortimsere's fantastic librarian Gill Ward, and you can read about all the things we did last year in these blog posts.

We started my second year's activities with the new Year 7, who I had the pleasure of meeting last week.  They gave me a wonderful welcome, and I was excited to see that they're already brilliant readers.  When I asked what their favourite books were, it was great to hear so many different favourites, from classics like The Lord Of The Rings to books like this year's Carnegie Medal winner, Sarah Crossan's One.

I talked to them about the books that were my favourites when I was at school, like Watership Down by Richard Adams.  (If anyone would like to know more about that book, I wrote a whole blog post about it here.)  I also talked to them about my favourite films, like the original Star Wars (and I've just written a blog about seeing that film back when I was 10!)

We went on to talk about how you go from being a reader to being a writer, and how stories like Watership Down influenced Varjak Paw, and how Star Wars influenced Phoenix.  I really do believe that every writer is a reader, and every reader can be a writer.  A writer is really just a reader who's taken the next step, and decided to write the story they want to read themselves!

We didn't have quite enough time to answer all the questions that everyone had, so if anyone at Fortimsere has another question, or would like to say anything about the visit or my books, just leave me a comment below.  And I look forward to returning to Fortismere next week to talk to Year 8 about creative writing, and then returning next term to talk more about our favourite books with Year 7!

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