Monthly Archives: July 2012

Library dates: Come see me!

I’ll be talking about Olympic Heroes at the following libraries in Warwickshire during August. Come and join me this Thursday, August 2nd,  in Rugby Library from 10.30 -12.00 and Nuneaton Library from 2.00 – 3.30. On Wednesday 15th August I’ll be at Leamington Spa Library from 10.30 – 12.00 and Stratford-upon-Avon from 2.00 – 3.30 […]

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The Summer Holidays

I’m working on a project that has nothing to do with my books or my writing at the moment. For some reason, I volunteered to curate a history display of shops and trades from 100 years ago in the village. Researching it is both a pleasure and a pain. A pleasure in the interesting things […]

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Summer Reading Challenge 2: Sutton-on-Trent Primary School

Now here’s a school close to my heart; Sutton-on-Trent Primary School in Nottinghamshire. Sutton-on-Trent was the last school I taught at before turning to writing full-time. I have fond memories of teaching there but I knew my time was up when I had a deadline for a book (There’s Only One Danny Ogle) and an […]

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Summer Reading Challenge : Tuxford Primary School

Meet Y5 and Y6 at Tuxford Primary School in Nottinghamshire; a bunch of rascals if I ever saw one!  I promised signed copies of a couple of my books and a bag of wine gums to the class who has the highest percentage of kids who participate in the Summer Reading Challenge.  Bribery and corruption? […]

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What is… the sun?

Here is the view from my front room an hour ago:         This summer  has been the wettest and coldest and miserable-blooming – est on record and I’m fed up with it.  If there were a union for the weather we’d all be out on strike, wouldn’t we?   What do we […]


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The countdown is beginning in earnest, now, isn’t it?  Teams are arriving in London from all over the world to take part in the 2012 Olympics. Tickets paid for months ago are being delivered; the torch is  nearing its destination; people are panicking… To get in the mood I bought this from Waterstones today: When […]

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The Maudlin Victorians…

A new study on  award-winning children’s books claims that there’s a ‘trend’ towards judges choosing winners that have dark themes such as parents dying (A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness being one example). What? This isn’t a trend; it’s what children’s books have always done. They’ve always tackled ‘dark’ subjects. You can’t get any grimmer […]

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Miracle on Trellewelyn Street…

OK, I’ll come right out and say it; I wasn’t expecting anything out of the ordinary to happen yesterday. There were no indications that the visit to Ysgol Llywelyn in Rhyl would be any different from the hundreds of other school visits I’ve made over the years. The weather was normal for July (rain). The […]


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Return to Ysgol Esgob Morgan

I returned to the small but perfectly-formed city of St Asaph yesterday to check up on how everyone was getting on at Ysgol Esgob Morgan (where I’m Patron of Reading) . I know what a dangerous time the end of term is for teachers. They have so many things going on they’re likely to explode so […]


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The Power of Reading

Do you remember ages ago I blogged about hearing children’s writer Frank Cottrell Boyce talk about the Reader Organisation? What do you mean, no? Well read this first here and then come back to this blog. I’ll make a cup of tea while I wait.   Frank Cottrell Boyce (author of Millions, Cosmic and other […]


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