I was really chuffed a while ago when my old school bought a copy of Darklands for their library. I was even more chuffed when the librarian got in touch, asking to do a feature about me in the School Newsletter.
It came out last week, and features some blurb from me, plus a couple of reviews from year 7 readers.
It’s great to get some feedback from actual young readers. Although I have a few reviews on Amazon and elsewhere, I’m pretty sure most of them are from adults. Darklands is aimed at early teens, but a few people have told me their children as young as ten have read it (the very youngest must be a couple of my nine year old step-son’s class mates. They are *very* keen readers!)
This is what a couple of year 7 girls had to say:
Darklands is a fantasy. Throughout the pages magic, mystery and darkness combine. Sophie has been transported to another world where it never rains and she is forced to marry the king. Will she ever return to her world? Will anything ever be the same again? I thought Darklands was really good. It did slow up a bit in the middle but by the end of the book I couldn’t stop reading.
The Darklands book was a good read. There was action all the way through. She is able to integrate the modern world with the mystical world of Darklands. When Sophie puts up a fight she finds surprising allies and unnerving truths. Lots of mystery is wound into this book. What is devotion and why can’t the king be killed? I thought the book was a real page-turner and would give it 8/10
I’m pretty pleased with those assessments 🙂
For my contribution, I was asked for my best and worst school memories. This is what I came up with:
Some of my fondest memories of school are of learning Latin with Mr Pearce (headmaster at the time). Latin wasn’t on the curriculum, I was just geekily interested in it, and Mr Pearce was thrilled that finally someone wanted to learn it.
I learned a lot about English from studying Latin – and other European languages too. Whenever we learned a new Latin word, Mr Pearce would ask me what English words it reminded me of. Often I could work out for myself what it meant when I realised it was the root of several familiar English words.*
This is the best kind of teaching: not only did I learn a specific language; more importantly, I learned how to analyse, and work things out for myself.
Many of my worst school memories involve sports: hockey in the freezing cold; slithering up the muddy slopes on cross country run. The very worst must be when my knicker elastic broke half way through PE. I had to complete the run, holding my pants up.
I’m hoping that some of the parents (and teachers) who see the newsletter will recognise my name, and be interested enough to pick up the book.
* This has also stood me in good stead for pub quizzes. It was a proud moment when I was the only person in the pub able to work out what the opposite of estivate is 😀 Answers on a postcode to….