News

Keep up to date with all of the latest news from Dee Kirkby.

Playing the reading game

We quite like reading in my family – which is a good thing for the family of a Patron of Reading to like- and we spent one evening recently playing the reading game. Please excuse the very unhealthy soft drink in the middle of the table but this evening in… READ MORE

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Secret Project

Very much looking forward to spend the afternoon with one of the Y6 classes at Newbridge Junior School​ where we will be working on a top secret project. All will be revealed in 2016 but you are welcome to guess what the project might be in the comment section below…

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Gender stereotyping and empathy

Next week I will be working with just one Y6 class to help them get ready to write a play which they will then support one Y3 class with performing. The focus will still be empathy as that is my focus for my Patron of Reading  visits this year but… READ MORE

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Empathy in Reading

Today is the first of my Patron of Reading ‘empathy in reading’ days at Newbridge Junior School​. Today the Year 3 classes will be enjoying Pirates Don’t Drive Diggers by Alex English (published by Maverick Books) by followed by a linked ‘Show or Tell’ empathy session. It’s first of a… READ MORE

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Reading Rocs week 4

Well, the Reading Rocs Challenge this week has proven that the Black Demons are going to have to fight to keep their first place position because the Gruesome Green Goblins have green lighted their way to second place and the Pink Power Readers have used their reading power to fly… READ MORE

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Cover star

I love this photo of one class’s favourite book covers, and wondered what book cover you would choose to feature on a display like this? 

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The Reading Rocs Challenge

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Awesome Sauce

Newbridge Junior School have chosen some awesome sauce Reading Rocs team names this year: 3D- The re(a) dders 3H –The Purple Portals 3dM- Blue Pompey Players 3R- The Pink Panthers 4B- Cookie Biscuits 4AS- Book Builders 4S- The Zooming Readers 4P- Reading Rangers 5D- (may not have a name yet… READ MORE

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Reviews of new early reader books

These early readers are similar to the picture book version, but has tweaks that will make it more appealing to young readers who are developing independence and confidence with their reading. The full-page photos bridge the gap between picture book and early reader without making the book seem childish. Suitable… READ MORE

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Incoming!

Those lovely people at Maverick Publishing have sent me five new Early Reader books to enjoy (absolutely perfect timing in this rainy weather), so I will be reading them and feeding back to you all very soon.

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Meet the Reading Rocs Champions of 2015

Congratulations to the Golden Eagle team from Newbridge Junior School who, having read enough to earn 16,341 points, are the overall winners of the Reading Rocs challenge for this year! Their prize is to take over running of Lacey Library for the morning with loads of fun activities to enjoy,… READ MORE

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Book signing fun

Today I went to a school to do a book signing and got to park in the Head’s space. I felt very important parking there! The lady from Blackwell’s bookstore who came to sell my books was wearing a t-shirt which said ‘Books Are My Bag’, which made me laugh. She gave all… READ MORE

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Getting into character

On my Patron of Reading visit to Copnor Primary’s Years 5 & 6 yesterday, the focus for the day was primarily on emphasising with the motivation of characters. As part of this I showed each class how much fun it was to create completely random  superheroes and super villains as an all… READ MORE

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In the hot seat

I am very much looking forward to my Patron of Reading visit to Copnor Primary on the 3rd June where we will be creating superheroes and super villains based on countries they have visited during their Global Reading Adventure, and then getting into those characters with a bit of hot seat… READ MORE

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Four picture book reviews

A Gold Star for George by Alice Hemming and Kimberly Scott This book is quirky and whimsical with underlying themes of the importance of kindness, friendship, compassion and empathy. The illustrations are bright and concise and they help to pick out the key messages in this story. Lilly loved the… READ MORE

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A Record Breaking Summer Reading Challenge

This year the Summer Reading Challenge is extra special because it has teamed up with Guinness World Records™. The Challenge will be called Record Breakers and with the enthusiasm and the help from all of you lovely readers, they hope to set a Guinness World Record over the summer holidays!… READ MORE

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The first known board game

“The first known board game was called cenet”. This fascinating fact was brought to you by Mia Mae from class 3RT at Copnor Primary. Mia Mae learned this fact as part of the Global Reading Adventure I sent her school on as their Patron of Reading. The school has a password… READ MORE

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Reading Rocs Teams’ board

I was at Newbridge Junior for a Patron of Reading visit this week and was very pleased to see this ENORMOUS Reading Rocs board they put together. As a school they have a total of 84,854 Reading Rocs points for the year so far so they definitely need a big board to… READ MORE

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Strong Reading

Well, well, well….you Newbridge Junior Reading Roc warriors sure have been busy over the past three weeks! I am really impressed that all 16 teams have submitted an impressive amount of points in this scoring round. As a school you have a total of 84854 Reading Rocs points for the year… READ MORE

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The Golden Eagles are scoring and soaring!

Well done to Newbridge Junior School who are playing the Reading Rocs challenge and so far have scored 67432 points so far for this year! Even more impressive is that 1 of the 16 teams in the school – The Golden Eagles – have earned  10892 of those points! Superb effort Golden… READ MORE

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Copnor Primary’s awesome facts

The new facts and team points for Copnor Primary’s Global Reading Adventure are now up. Awesome reading and fact finding everyone and big thank you to Mia, Emilia, Jasmine and Bethan for collecting the points and facts and for sending them to me. If you know the password then you… READ MORE

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Super heroes and super villains

I am looking forward to spending the day at Copnor Primary today. We will be talking about the different countries they have read about during their Global Reading Adventure and then creating super heroes and super villains based on those countries! Here is a pic of my Canadian themed super… READ MORE

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Reader reviews

It is a very nice treat for me when someone takes the time to write a review of one of my books. This review for Realand (open this post to follow the links) and this one for Raffie Island are the latest reviews and both made me smile. I hope you… READ MORE

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Reading Rocs at Newbridge Junior!

In the past 14 weeks Newbridge Junior have amassed a HUMUNGOUS 50,590 Reading Rocs points! FIFTYTHOUSANDFIVEHUNDREDANDNINTEY!!!!!  I won’t tell you what the point breakdown is per team because that is a secret just for people with access to the password protected portal however, I will say this – well done to The… READ MORE

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Moooooooose!

I will be at Copnor Primary School today where we will be reading The Dog Detectives in The Great Grizzly North (by Fin and Zoa), then taking a virtual tour around the wilds of Canada and going on a moose hunt as part of their Global Reading Adventure.   We’re… READ MORE

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The Great Grizzly North

Those lovely folk at Maverick publishing heard that I had set Copnor Primary a Global Reading Adventure challenge. I was talking about how I was going to be talking about reading and travelling in Canada on my next two visits to the school, and they sent me this fabulous book!… READ MORE

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The Golden Eagles have challengers!

Despite a lower scoring week than usual, the Golden Eagles remain the team to beat as they are still top of the score chart with 5509 Reading Rocs points in total for the challenge, but I think they need to be looking over their shoulder as Dark Eagles and Golden… READ MORE

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Hardcore

The Golden Eagles are still showing all the other teams how to play Reading Rocs hardcore style by earning over 5000 points in the competition to date! If you know the password then you can see the points for all the teams taking part in the Reading Rocs challenge by… READ MORE

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New Facts

Thanks to the the readers at Copnor Primary school who have been sending me facts they have discovered on their Global Reading Adventure. Isabella from Sapphire class taught me something new with this fact: “Polar bears have transparent fur”!  Did you know that? If you have access to the password… READ MORE

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A year of events for readers of children’s books

The Guardian children’s books section has put together a list of all events related to children’s books for 2015. March looks like a very busy month! Open up this post and then click here to read the full list

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Welcome to 2015!

It’s 2015 which means a whole new reading year has begun! I just finished reading House of Robots by James Patterson (a bit sad and a lot funny) and am now reading the Maze Runner by James Dasher (quite scary). What have you been reading over the Christmas holidays?

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What I’m reading, right now

I am reading House of Robots by James Patterson, and enjoying it a lot. I am about halfway through and so far there have been funny bits, and some very sad bits. It’s a book about what life is like for a boy  who has to deal with being in Year… READ MORE

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Reading Rocs – week six

Huge congratulations to The Golden Eagles who are the leading Reading Rocs team this week and for the term because they have the most points overall – a CHRISTMASTASTIC 3049 Reading Rocs points earned in the competition so far. I hope you enjoy the company of the Reading Rocs trophy… READ MORE

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Reading Rocs – week five

Well done to the Dark Eagles who are the leading Reading Rocs team this week because they have the most points overall – a GINAGAROUS 2439 Reading Rocs points earned in the competition so far!  Full details are in the league tables which can be viewed by clicking here (and entering the… READ MORE

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The launch of the Global Reading Adventure

The launch of the Global Reading Adventure at Copnor Primary was great fun! During the day I spent time with each year group (almost 700 children) and their teachers, talking about different types of non-fiction they could read on their individual adventures whilst earning points for their class teams. One… READ MORE

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Our wonderful world

Very much looking forward to launching the (nonfiction) Global Reading Adventure at Copnor Primary School today. 700 children will be heading off on their own reading adventure, and discovering the wonders of our world. Why not join us and see where your adventure takes you?

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Reading Rocs – week four

Well done to The Golden Eagles who are the leading Reading Rocs team this week because they have the most points overall – a mahoosive 1521 Reading Rocs points earned in the competition so far! They do have another team hot on their tail feathers though – full details are in the… READ MORE

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What I’m reading, right now

House of Robots by James Patterson was released today and I am very excited to be able to start reading it! What are you reading ?

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Reading Rocs – week three

Well done to The Golden Eagles who are the leading Reading Rocs team this week because they earned the most points – a ginagarous 887 Reading Rocs points for the week! The league tables can be viewed by clicking here (and entering the password).

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Reading Rocs – week two

Well done to Choco Rocs who are the leading Reading Rocs team this week because they earned the most Reading Rocs points – a massive 304 point for the week! The Choco Rocs share first place in the league tables with Silver Dynamites this week, because both teams read their way to be… READ MORE

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Global Reading Adventure

On the 10th December the readers at Copnor Primary School will be setting off on their global reading adventure. Here is a sneak peek at a part of the map they will be using. Fun for everyone!  

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What I’m reading right now

I am reading Middle School – How I Survived Bullies, Broccoli and Snake Hill by James Patterson. I have read up to chapter six and am enjoying this book a lot. It reminds me of when I went to summer camp as a child (except I really enjoyed going to summer camp)!… READ MORE

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Reading Rocs at Newbridge Junior!

Well done to The Golden Eagles who are the leading Reading Rocs team this week. The Golden Eagles read their way to be the highest scorers (out of 16 competing classes) with a massive 62 Reading Rocs points for the week! All scores can be viewed by clicking here (and… READ MORE

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Book title challenge from Newbridge

The students of Newbridge Junior school challenged me to read their favourite books. Newbridge is a big school so I am lucky that many of them recommended the same titles or series! I will do an emoticon review of each book read when I write the school half term newsletters…. READ MORE

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Reading, writing, book clubs and trophies

Friday is going to be an action packed, fun-filled Patron of Reading day!  I am off to Newbridge Junior School to talk books with the Boys’ Book Club, followed by some flash fiction fun with the Year 6s and ending the day with the launch of Reading Rocs at an all… READ MORE

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Archery Skillz

We went on a family excursion yesterday evening to have some archery lessons (but first we played on some tree swings). The archery lesson was a lot of fun and, although I can’t pretend I am Katniss from the Hunger Games trilogy,  I did manage to hit the target a few… READ MORE

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Opening Newbridge Junior Library

I was given the honour of opening the new library at Newbridge Junior school on Wednesday. You can see a video of part of the opening ceremony and a photo of the inside of the library by clicking here. There were some incredible handmade creatures and other book related objects on… READ MORE

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What I am writing, right now….

I was invited by Claudia White (author of Aesop’s Secret, Key to Kashdun) to take part in this tour where authors talk about the books they are working on or that that they have recently finished writing. I am working on my next novel for adults and my next one… READ MORE

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Patron of Reading list for Term One

I had a great time choosing some books for you to enjoy during your first term of school!  Choose any that you like the look of  or any other book in your school or public library, read it, and let me know what you thought of it. Also, don’t forget… READ MORE

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Chlore Duffield Literature Grants

The Clore Duffield Foundation has created these grants,  which range from £1,000 to £10,000, to fund poetry and literature initiatives for those under the age of 19, across the UK.  Their aim is to provide children and young people with opportunities to experience poetry and literature in exciting and compelling ways, in and… READ MORE

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Win one of five books

The lovely people at Nosy Crow are offering newsletter subscribers the chance to win one of five free books. Click here to follow  to go to their website to sign up for their newsletter and to find out more. I am hoping to win Witchworld!

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What I’m reading right now…

I am reading Frog the Barbarian by Guy Bass – it is very funny!  What are you reading?

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Singing Fingers

If  an adult in your life has an iPad or smart phone then I recommend you do enough chores to earn the right to borrow it so you can download this free app that allows you to finger paint with sound: http://singingfingers.com It’s seriously awesome.

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Boys + Knitting = ?

When I read Boys Don’t Knit by Tom. Easton, I laughed over something on almost every page. It’s a fantastic book, and one that I think everyone from about age 12 onwards should read. I was lucky enough to be able to interview Tom as part of the YA Countdown to… READ MORE

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Summer Reading Challenge

I am very excited that I have been allowed to sign up for the Summer Reading Challenge for the second year in a row. Adults aren’t usually allowed to take part but because I am a Patron of Reading I get join in the fun. So far I have read… READ MORE

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Celebrity Readers

It was the final Patron of Reading assembly of the year this morning, and what a year it has been! It was an emotional assembly filled with pride at all the fun we have had reading this school year. There are a few photo at the end of this post showing some… READ MORE

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The Takeover

The takeover of the Paulsgrove library by the peer reading champions was a huge success! The eight peers were kept busy the whole time by library users, reading to school groups and signing them (and me) up for the Summer Reading Challenge, as well as being interviewed and photographed by… READ MORE

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Paulsgrove library takeover

This event is tomorrow afternoon and we are all looking forward to it! You can read what the Portsmouth City Council had to say about it in their press release by clicking this link or searching for it on the council website. UPDATE: You can read all about the actual… READ MORE

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Reads United

I had a great time listening to Tom Palmer and Helena Pielichaty talk to the crowds of children who came to see them at the Reads United event at Fratton Park today. I was so astounded (and honoured) when Helena pointed me out as a fellow author that I completely… READ MORE

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My Jar of Happiness

I have a jar on my desk which I keep notes and other mementoes of things that have made me especially happy throughout the year. It is nice to take the notes out and read them during the year. Do you have a special place where you keep track of… READ MORE

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Patron of Reading fun in June

I have some fun patron of reading activities planned for June including sessions related to reading in the community, pupils putting patron of reading stickers on their favourite books in the school library, and a takeover of the public library.

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What I’m reading right now

I am re-reading The Bromeliad by Terry Pratchett (which I first read several years ago) just to see if I missed anything the first time around (do you ever do that?).   The Bromeliad is an omnibus (a book made up of several books that were first published separately) of his books… READ MORE

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First half of term three reading celebration assembly

It has been a chaotic half term filled with exams and inspections and all other kinds of distractions for the teaching team at Beacon View Primary Academy and unfortunately this means there no ‘reading for fun’ stats this half term.   So I will be leading a whole school book shout out instead of… READ MORE

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Lily and Me

Here are a couple of rough sketches I did this evening of two characters from a book I am writing called Lily and Me. My husband thinks it looks like Henry has a pile of poo on his head and our youngest son thought it was a soft whip ice cream! It’s… READ MORE

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Oi Frog!

This book trailer video about what animals sit on made me giggle and I bet it will do the same to you! You can watch by clicking  here.

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What I read today

I read two picture books today even though I am eleventymillion years old because some of the best adventures are found in picture books. I read Cantankerous King Colin written by Phil Allcock and illustrated by Steve Stone. Their book is about a king who does things just because he can… READ MORE

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SATS

Good luck to all the Year 6s who are sitting their SATS this week. Please try to remember that trying your hardest is good enough!

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A Minecraft Book

My youngest son is writing a book about Minecraft called The Journey of James. He says the book is about a new (fictional) Minecraft player named James, and the book is about his adventure in Minecraft. I have told him that if he writes at least 10,000 (well written) words… READ MORE

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What I’m Reading Right Now

I am reading Boys Don’t Knit by T.S. Easton, and so far I have laughed over something on almost every page. It’s a fantastic book, and one that I think everyone from about age 12 onwards should read.

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Sparkling jelly beans

We’re planting these jelly beans this evening to see what grows overnight. Hint – you can tell they’re special jelly beans because they sparkle.

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Bouncy circle stories

During my end of term visit to Beacon View Primary Academy (I am their patron of reading) we read stories (of course), played with dinosaur gliders (well why not?), and created bouncy circle stories (which you can read at the end of this post). These stories are created by bouncing… READ MORE

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What I’m reading right now

I am currently reading Sawbones by Catherine Johnson. It’s gruesome, gripping and exquisitely well written. Word of warning though….this is not the best book to read while you are eating!

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End of term two reading celebrations

Another half term full of reading fun for the students and staff at Beacon View Primary Academy including an ‘underwater’ safari, a visit to a ‘book zoo’, writing a story using a football, making dinosaurs fly and much more. The following students received an award at the reading celebration assembly on… READ MORE

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Feedback

Feedback from a staff member at Beacon View Primary Academy:   “I think a Patron of Reading linked to the school is a good idea because it encourages reluctant readers, especially boys, to read for enjoyment. After speaking to a pupil who is involved in these sessions, he said that… READ MORE

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The Flying Books Shed

Follow the link (or click on it if you have opened up this blog post) to watch a very moving video about how books enrich lives of readers young and old: http://www.literacyshed.com/the-flying-books-shed.html

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What I’m reading right now

I am reading Dragoflu by Rachel Turner, and if you like dragons (especially clumsy ones) then this is the book for you!

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2048 – Nosy Crow Edition

Click here (or go to this url: http://games.usvsth3m.com/2048/nosy-crow-edition/) to go to a super fun game. I scored 612 – can you beat that?

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Peer reading champions and the stories they are writing

  Jack, Holly and Lewis are peer reading champions who work with younger readers on a weekly basis to help them discover new ways to enjoy reading.  They are also working on writing stories and I will be protgraphng their progress for you each time I go into the school… READ MORE

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What I’m Reading Right Now

I am reading the sequel to Aesop’s Secret called The Key to Kashdune (by Claudia White) which my 11 year old son read first and tortured me by telling me how awesome each chapter was each time he finished reading one.  And, you know what? He was right, this book is SO… READ MORE

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Reading music

Playing a musical instrument is another way to have fun reading! I was reminded of this when I went to a music hub concert last night to watch my number 3 son play a couple of instruments. I was sitting in the audience waiting for the event to begin and… READ MORE

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What kind of superhero are you?

Ever wondered what kind of superhero you might become? I found this random superhero generator (click here if you want to try it), put in my details and got a few hilarious descriptions. My favourite is this one: “Dee can change shape into a bear. She also has the power to… READ MORE

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A peek inside

Are you wondering what goes on in a patron of reading session? Well I can’t speak for the other patrons but here is a peek at the highlights of  my last patron of reading session: First – a whole school assembly to celebrate the reading achievements so far: 13 Super… READ MORE

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Half term two reading celebrations

Another half term full of reading fun for the students at Beacon View Primary Academy . The numbers of students who are making time to enjoy reading in their own time is continuing to rise which makes me very happy indeed. The following students will be receiving an award at… READ MORE

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National Libraries Day

Libraries hold a special place in my heart because we didn’t have much money when I was a child – certainly not enough to stretch to buying books at the rate I was able to read them. Instead, each week my mother would take me to the library and I… READ MORE

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The Pet Itch’s New Friends

During my patron of reading sessions last week we enjoyed reading The Pet Itch. After we finished reading we all signed a letter which has been sent off to Maverick Books to say how much we enjoyed reading about Itch, Mossy and his sister. I took a photo of our… READ MORE

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Itches, Islands and Sports Relief

Today is the first in the series of patron of reading sessions for this term and we will be reading The Pet Itch (by Ellie Woollard) and the first two chapters of Raffie Island.  Everyone knows how much I love reading but not many of you  knew that I also… READ MORE

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Your questions (and my answers), your book suggestions and dares

Hello Ameera, you dared me to read the French dictionary! Ok, so I have now read the French dictionary for beginners. Merci pour votre osent parce que j’ai appris beaucoup de choses. Hi Layla, you asked me what we are doing at Christmas and you will find out on the 20th… READ MORE

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End of term one reading celebrations

Well what a fantastic term it has been, and what a privilege it is to be the patron of reading for Beacon View Primary Academy! The numbers of students who are making time to enjoy reading in their own time has increased massively in just one term. This term we… READ MORE

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Flights of Fancy

Back in April I spent time looking at museum artefacts with the Year 4s at Beacon View Primary Academy and Craneswater Junior school, and discussing how our imaginations have the power to make anything fly. The stories and their accompanying artwork went on display in the Natural History Museum  and… READ MORE

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Reading fun

My patron of reading ‘work’ is my most favourite job, ever. Seriously. Helping young readers discover their next best book is a privilege, and a lot of fun at the same time. I found these wonderful drawings that some students had done after enjoying The Odd Egg by Emily Gravett. What… READ MORE

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Giveaway!

The Mother, Daughter and Son book review site has posted a review of Queendom with an easy to enter giveaway. Click here (open the full article first or the hyperlink won’t work) to go there, and good luck everyone!

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Queendom launch party

The big day is finally here! It is time to kick off my online party to celebrate the arrival of Queendom. Join Max and Laura on their third adventure in the Portal Series as they discover how to subdue a joop, help the Commander of the Peace find out who put… READ MORE

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A peek inside a patron of reading session

BBC Radio Solent sent a reporter in to my Patron of Reading sessions at  Beacon View Primary Academy on the 13th November.  If you would like to find out more about what I do with the school as the patron of reading then you can listen to the radio interview… READ MORE

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Fly through 17th Century London

I found this wonderful video on YouTube which takes the viewer on a flight through 17th century London. Click here if you want to take a test flight.

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Mavericks of the children’s book publishing world

Thank you to the lovely people at Maverick Books who have donated six books to my Patron of Reading  literary treasure chest!  The books are: The Fearsome Beastie, Tamara Small and the Monsters’ Ball,  Mrs MacCready Was Ever So Greedy, Childe of Hale, The Bunny That Couldn’t Be Found, and… READ MORE

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Half term one reading awards

Half term one reading awards for Beacon View Primary Academy for the reading celebration assembly on 25th Oct 2013: 10 Star Readers – awarded for reading at home three or more times per week Lewis Moatlhodi  Teddy Wicks Ben Erler Finley Bell Connor Rogers William Evans Torrie Cobb Ralphie Leggett Tayer… READ MORE

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Spooktacular Book Giveaway

Between now and midnight on Halloween you can enter your name (three times) in the Rafflecopter draw below for your chance to win a copy of Queendom (book three in the Portal Series)  which is due out on Nov 30th 2013. This is also your chance to see the cover for… READ MORE

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Children’s Book Week

This is Children’s Book Week, and I thought this would be the perfect time to tell you what I will be getting up to from January 2014! From January 2014 I will be writing Hoardland (book four in the Portal Series) and the pupils, parents and staff  of Beacon View Primary… READ MORE

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Patron of Reading Session Number Two

The first Patron of Reading session of term one was great fun, and I am very much looking forward to my second session this morning. In the first session we enjoyed The Sneethches by Dr Suess (key stage one groups) and Dinkin Dings and the Frightening Things by Guy Bass… READ MORE

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BlogFest 2013

Hello everyone, and welcome to my BlogFest 2013 post.  Enter your name in the comment section below to get your name in the draw for a signed copy of Realand (book one in the Portal Series). (This draw is open globally)   Below are links to the next five blogs participating… READ MORE

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A very important coin

Queendom (book three in the Portal Series) is due to be published on December 1st, and the illustrator has submitted most of  the illustrations.  I took the photo below of the drawing he has done of  a coin that has been mentioned in all three books so far. Max takes… READ MORE

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Questions and Answers

These are questions I have been asked during school visits, and my answers to those questions. If you have a question that isn’t answered below then you can ask me by clicking on the contact tab at the bottom of the page. What inspired you to write books / why… READ MORE

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Hello visitors!

Welcome to my new website for my writing for children. Some things on the website – like the Portal game – aren’t finished yet but there is still loads on here for you to see and do. Please look around and then come back here to let me know what… READ MORE

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