Wednesday 31 May 2017

Author Visits: St Joseph's Catholic Primary

I'd like to say a big thank you to Angelina Brett, Tracey Churchill and everyone I met at St Joseph's Catholic Primary School for the fantastic welcome they gave me when I visited them this month!

It was an absolute pleasure to talk to Years 6, 5, 4 and 3 about reading and writing, and I was delighted to see what great young readers and writers there are at St Joseph's.  This is a school that places the very highest priority on reading.  They've even built a brand new library for the children, and asked me to open it while I was there!

Of course, I was thrilled to do this, because I believe that libraries are magical, life-changing places.  The books we discover in them can shape us and stay with us forever.  I've always hoped that my own books might have that kind of effect on readers – so I was absolutely knocked out when one of the students at St Joseph's read Phoenix after my visit, and made this amazing video about it:

So here's another big THANK YOU to her – and to everyone at St Joseph's for such an inspiring day.  And if anyone has any more questions they'd like to ask me, or would like to say anything about the visit or my books, just leave me a comment below!

Wednesday 17 May 2017

Bookbuzz 2017!

I am absolutely thrilled to announce that Phoenix has been chosen to be part of Bookbuzz 2017!

Bookbuzz is an amazing scheme run by the reading charity BookTrust.  Every year, schools that sign up to Bookbuzz are sent a package of books chosen by a panel of experts.  Teachers and librarians then share the books with their students, who can choose one book to take home and keep – for free!

The books cover a wide range of genres and are designed to appeal to all students aged 11 to 13, regardless of their level of reading.  I think this is a brilliant idea, because that's an age when people often stop reading for pleasure.  There are so many demands on your time in secondary school, but the pleasure of reading a book you love is something that should never be lost.  So I love the idea of a scheme specifically designed to create a buzz around books at that age.

This year's list includes books by some of my own favourite authors, like Wonder by RJ Palacio, The Boundless by Kenneth Oppel, Murder In Midwinter by Fleur Hitchcock, Where Monsters Lie by Polly Ho-Yen...  there really is something for everyone!  You can find the full list and more information on the BookTrust website.  And for anyone who's already trying to choose a book – here's Dave McKean's amazing Phoenix book trailer: