Archive for the 'authors' Category
20 November 2012 at 12:43
When we discovered via our local high street bookseller,The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop, that a teacher at one of the schools closest to our office had just published her first book, we had to meet her!
And so it was that Sophie E Tallis, author of fantasy novel White Mountain, came to visit us during the half term break, fitting us in between a whirlwind tour of local bookshops, where she is in demand for book-signing events.
Sophie is delighted to be associated with Readathon, being an avid reader who has just installed the twelfth bookcase in her home! She is currently planning a Readathon sponsored read for the pre-prep division of Beaudesert Park.
Reading was one of Sophie's favourite childhood pastimes. She especially loved The Hobbit, Alice In Wonderland, Heidi, Robinson Crusoe and the complete works of Beatrix Potter. She enjoyed writing and drawing from the age of five and always wanted to become an author.
"When at secondary school I received a long, personal reply to a fan letter that I'd written to the author Lynda La Plante, I realised that authors were real people too," recalls Sophie. "So I knew that my dream of becoming a writer could come true!"
And now it has, with the publication of her debut novel White Mountain. Suitable for readers aged 9 to adult, this fantasy tale was inspired by Sophie's gap year travels in New Zealand and by myths and legends from around the world, especially those from Tibet and Sumeria. Her book also cleverly blends wizards, witches and dragons with the modern real world.
While the story is illustrated with Sophie's intricate drawings, the prose is also clearly the work of someone with an artist's eye, being characterised by vivid, almost three-dimensional descriptions of ithe story's spectacular settings.
Our office copy of White Mountain is now dog-eared from being passed around our team, and the book has also gone down well at Sophie's school, where the children have enjoyed finding out at first hand what it's like to be an author.
"There's no greater buzz than reading your own book to a child and seeing them immersed in the story," says Sophie, who worked at an inner-city school in a deprived area before joining Beaudesert Park, a coeducational prep school.
White Mountain, published by Safkhet Publishing, is now available from high street bookshops, including The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop and other good bookshops everywhere.
Posted in prep school | authors | 1 Comments »
20 June 2012 at 11:16
Congratulations to the winner of the 2012 CILIP Carnegie & Kate Greenaway Book Awards - and we do mean "winner" rather than "winners" because the same book has scooped both prizes, for the first time in this hugely prestigious award scheme's 75 years: "A Monster Calls" written by Patrick Ness (who won last year too!) and illustrated by Jim Kay.
Did those schools shadowing the awards anticipate this historic outcome? Please feel free to send us your views!
Posted in authors | illustrators | No Comments
20 June 2012 at 09:41
Readathon founder Brough Girling visited a truly superb school in Northern Ireland last week and treated the pupils to a visit from multi-talented author Daniel Blythe.
"St Patrick's Grammar School in Downpatrick has donated a phenomenal amount to Readathon over the years and we wanted to acknowledge the support of both their staff and their pupils with a celebration," said Brough.
Daniel Blythe filled the children's heads with fast-paced tales, while Brough filled the teachers' stomachs with cake!
Rory, a Year 8 pupil, thoroughly enjoyed the afternoon: ‘We read the first chapter of ‘Shadow Runners’ in class before Daniel came and it seems really good. Now that I have my own signed copy, I can’t wait to read it over the summer!’
Gina Savage, Head of English at the school enthused: "Reading for pleasure is very much embedded in the culture of the St Patrick’s. All junior pupils have time in their weekly timetabled classes dedicated to this pastime. It encourages the boys to see reading as a leisure activity – something on the same level as football or soccer - something that is not just educational but also enjoyable."
Brough was especially impressed that each year St Patrick’s trains twenty Year 13 students to work as Reading Partners and Reading Champions in local primary schools to promote positive reading habits and improve literacy with the children in the community. "This is a fabulously creative investment," he said.
Pictured here are author Daniel Blythe (seated centre), Readathon founder Brough Girling (far left), Vice Principal Ray McConville, Head of English Gina Savage, with St Patrick's pupils Eoin, Aidan and Joseph.
Posted in benefits of reading for pleasure | authors | school visits | Readathon sponsored read | secondary school | school success stories | Northern Ireland | No Comments
13 March 2012 at 10:02
Readathon's former Chairman Roald Dahl has been voted favourite children's author in a survey by the Teachit Primary website. Joint second were current Children's Laureate Julia Donaldson and JK Rowling. Julia Donaldson's "The Gruffalo" was voted best children's book.
All of these authors feature frequently on the lists of books chosen by primary school children for their Readathon sponsored read. Some especially prolific readers have even volunteered to read all of Roald Dahl's children's books or the complete Harry Potter series.
But Readathon participants are not obliged to read on this scale. Our sponsored reading scheme - the only UK national sponsored reading event - is designed to be accessible to readers of all ranges of ability.
"With Readathon, each child chooses their own reading material," explains Brough Girling, Readathon founder. "For some children, especially struggling or reluctant readers, completing just one book of any kind will be a real achievement. But the most important thing about Readathon is that it makes them realise that reading is fun. This encourages them to read for pleasure, a habit proven to provide substantial lifelong benefits."
Posted in benefits of reading for pleasure | authors | Readathon sponsored read | primary school | No Comments
02 March 2012 at 11:48
Jeff Kinney's Diary of A Wimpy Kid has been awarded Blue Peter Best Children's Book of the Last 10 Years. Children were asked to vote for titles in a shortlist of the decade's ten bestselling children's books, which included stories about Hogwarts wizard Harry Potter by J K Rowling and the tale of the young James Bond by Charlie Higson.
For the full story, please click here.
Posted in authors | awards | No Comments
10 October 2011 at 09:59
On Friday our office team enjoyed a day out at the nearby Cheltenham Festival of Literature 2011 to attend Children's Laureate Julia Donaldson's fabulous Singalong event.
Accompanied by her husband on the guitar, she engaged 600 schoolchildren in her lively songs and stories. Her sister and great-nieces joined the cast, along with lots of children from the audience, together acting out favourites such as "The Stick Man" and "The Gruffalo", who made a special guest appearance in person!
After the event, we enjoyed chatting to Julia to find out more about her work. Did you know she started her career as a children's songwriter? She was equally interested in hearing the latest news from Readathon, of which she is a great advocate.
"Inspiring children to read is the greatest gift you can give them", she says.
She is also keen on our new Readwell programme, which takes books and storytellers into children's hospitals, not least because her guitar-playing husband Malcolm is a paediatrician.
An interview given by Julia later that afternoon is now available to see here. Her next mission is to collect her MBE later this week, awarded in the Queen's Birthday Honours, a few days after she was made Children's Laureate!
Posted in Cheltenham Festival of Literature | authors | No Comments
27 September 2011 at 12:47
Hawkesbury Primary School in South Gloucestershire enjoyed a memorable launch for its recent Readathon with a visit from the charity’s founder and children’s author, Brough Girling.
Brough spent time in each classroom, reading stories, telling jokes and answering their questions about what it’s like to write books.
In assembly, Brough entertained staff and children alike with anecdotes about his friend Roald Dahl, Readathon’s first chairman. The children were particularly intrigued by Dahl’s boyhood encounter with Beatrix Potter.
“The free books from Readathon are especially welcome as we are working hard to expand and modernize our Infant and Junior Libraries in the face of substantial budget cuts,” says Mrs Louise Lewis, Head Teacher.
“We are also keen to demonstrate to our pupils that reading and writing are lifelong pleasures of equal interest and value to boys and girls, so a visit by a male author was really constructive. We love supporting children’s charities too.
“I recommend Readathon to any school that wants to enthuse their pupils about reading, to build their library stocks and to find a different way of raising money for charity. With Readathon, everybody wins.”
Brough Girling also enjoyed his visit.
“What a lovely village school!” he remarked.
“The wonderful thing about schools and young people, is that even in today’s economic climate, they are still eager to raise money for those less fortunate than themselves,” he says.
Posted in free books | authors | school visits | Readathon sponsored read | No Comments
09 August 2011 at 11:27
Julia Donaldson, children's author and the current Children's Laureate, loves Readathon and says about it:
"Inspiring children to read is one of the greatest gifts you can give them. I'd recommend Readathon to anyone."
Posted in benefits of reading for pleasure | authors | No Comments