September was a very exciting month. After getting back from Edinburgh Book Festival, I spoke to the lovely Adriana from Pea Green Boat Books, and she let me know that Rosendale Primary School in London had chosen Stonebird as a set text for the whole of Year Six.
Which is quite surreal when you think about it. This time last year, I didn’t even have a book in shops. Stonebird was still a Word document being spruced up and given a cover and all the care and attention needed to turn a bunch of words into a real-life-book.
It’s easy to forget sometimes that there are actual people reading a story I’ve written, and the joy of hearing that its finding its way into people’s hands never goes away.
Rosendale is a great school, with inspiring teachers and one seriously cool library…
I was really excited about popping along to talk all about where the idea for Stonebird came from. The students had read some of the book already, and were lining up some cracking questions.
One of the classes blogged about my upcoming visit, and Year Six replied in the comments, saying what they were most looking forward to asking me. Some of the students were pretty excited!
Visiting schools is one of the very best things about being a children’s author. I never had a writer turning up at my school when I was a kid – not at primary school or secondary school, and I think if I did, I would probably have learned to enjoy books a little sooner.
I love reading from Stonebird when you can see the real-time reaction from the audience, and seeing so much excitement when I talk about where stories come from and how you can think up your own.
And it’s great fun getting the class to shout out ideas for animal body parts and cobbling them all together into a scary gargoyle. From chainsaw tails to pooing legs – I wouldn’t want to mess with any of these monstrosities!
I had four events in all, with four different classes, and after wrapping them all up I headed out to the playground to sign books and bookmarks, and answer any more questions the kids had. They’re always bursting with ideas and enthusiasm.
It was a pleasure working with Pea Green Boat Books, and tremendous fun visiting a school that was studying Stonebird. I hope that all the students continue to enjoy the book as they read through to the end, and I’m definitely looking forward to hearing about any stories of their own that it might inspire!