I was Patron Of Reading at Fortismere for two years, from 2015-2017 – you can read all my blogs about everything we did here! So it was a total pleasure to come back and meet the new Year 7s, and to talk to them about writing and books. And then in the evening, I had the honour of meeting this year's Reading Champions.
Reading Champions involves young readers recommending their favourite books to each other in presentations. This year, the finalists were championing a wonderful range of books: Pig Heart Boy by Malorie Blackman, Railhead by Philip Reeve, Wonder by RJ Palacio, The Enemy by Charlie Higson, Itch by Simon Mayo, Swallows And Amazons by Arthur Ransome, The Last Wild by Piers Torday, Percy Jackson And The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan, The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak – and, amazingly, Phoenix by me!
I was knocked out by these presentations, and by their passion for books and reading. And I was especially delighted when Zaki's fantastic presentation on Phoenix was voted the winner! So congratulations to Zaki – and thanks to everyone who made this such a memorable evening!