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Children talking about books

Children love books. And they love to tell others about them, too. Reuben Joseph, an 11-year-old from Hertfordshire, had a brilliant idea when he was just 9: he set up his own website which reviews books for children by children. No adult reviewers allowed. It’s called Mango Bubbles Books mangobubblesbooks.com. The reviews are enthusiastic and […]

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Save our Libraries!

Do you remember your early visits to the library? I have a clear picture of myself aged about seven setting off with my mum, both of us armed with books to return, eager to borrow new ones or to take some old favourites out again. To get to the children’s library we walked through an […]

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Should children choose their own books?

The debate about whether children should have the right to choose the books they read has started up again (The Washington Post on January 13, 2015 freedom to choose). Some parents and carers feel strongly that reading should be ‘structured’: “We need kids who are reading a whole lot more, and a whole lot more […]

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Books for Reluctant Readers 8 – 12 years

I’ve been taking Walking on Gold, my buried treasure adventure story, out into schools and having lots of conversations with children, teachers and parents, too. With Christmas coming up, parents are asking me to recommend books for 8 – 12s, especially for reluctant readers. In answer, I took the opportunity to talk with educator Rachael […]

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Walking on Gold at The Roman Baths

One of my happiest mornings this month was spent at The Roman Baths with a roomful of children scribbling away furiously. Some wore tunics, some wore togas: all were bursting with exciting ideas for an adventure story inspired by Bath’s Roman coin hoard. Curator David Baker set the scene with Roman coins to handle, pottery, […]

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David Almond and the Bath Children’s Festival

  Once again the Bath Children’s Literature Festival is working its magic to inspire readers and writers of all generations. Yesterday evening, David Almond gave his Professorial Lecture for Bath Spa University in the Guildhall. He talked about novels beginning as ‘scribbles and scratches’ and marks on a page, and showed his own rough notes. […]

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A Big Thank You to St Joseph’s

On Tuesday morning I had a fabulous time working with pupils at St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School in Bristol. They already knew about Walking on Gold after helping me to decide on my back cover blurb (always tricky!) at the end of last term. This time we started off by thinking about treasure – and […]

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‘Walking on Gold’ is here!

They’ve arrived! My first copies of Walking on Gold, all ready for the Bath Children’s Literature Festival, which opens next Friday 26th September. http://bathfestivals.org.uk/childrens-literature/ It’s exciting after all these months of writing and editing to finally have the finished book in my hands, and it’s come a long way from the first draft that I […]

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Commissioning Illustrations

I’ve had a busy time lately working with illustrators – and enjoyed every minute! After a careful search of artists’ portfolios online, I found Maria Forrester, who created the fabulous cover artwork for Walking on Gold. Maria lives 100 miles away and we have yet to meet, but I feel as if I know her […]

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Buried Treasure

Here I am researching my latest novel for 8 – 12s, ‘Walking on Gold’, due to be published next spring. I’m an amateur archaeologist – and when I wasn’t mining for words this autumn, I was on my knees in mud at what used to be a roman villa, digging up secrets from the soil. […]

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