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Week 2 of Adopt an Author and Rose Muddle Mysteries author Imogen White didn’t hold back in encouraging Carden’s Year 6 to unlock their creative bad side…

Task Two is all about BADDIES! I want you to think about what makes them tick… what makes them bad… and most importantly of all what is their weakness. All great baddies need a weakness.

I LOVE writing baddies, and I have quite a few in my books. I have the ancient warlord Verrulf, the dastardly members of the Brotherhood of the Black Sun and the perfectly ‘perfect’ Missy, who looks like butter wouldn’t melt, but is in fact properly NASTY!

Eeeeek! I don’t know about you but I’m sensing we need to prepare ourselves for some bad bad bad bad bad bad bad bad bad B.A.D eggs to appear before us… Any. Minute.

Team Carden Baddie Discussion:

Before you get stuck into creating your own baddie, take a moment to talk about the kind of book villains you love to hate! What makes them such fabulous villains for you? What do they look like? What does their name make you think of? What motivates them?

To help you along, here is a list of the top ten children’s book villains voted in a poll by National Book Tokens to celebrate World Book Day this year:

Top 10 Most Evil Villains
Lord Voldemort (Harry Potter series)
Dolores Umbridge (Harry Potter series)
Cruella de Vil (The Hundred and One Dalmatians)
The White Witch (The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe)
Miss Trunchbull (Matilda)
Bellatrix Lestrange (Harry Potter series)
Bill Sikes (Oliver Twist)
The Grand High Witch (The Witches)
Count Olaf (A Series of Unfortunate Events)

Which one is your favourite? Or, are there some others that aren’t on this list?

Voldemort is probably one of my favourite baddies of all time. From his bald head and slit-like nostrils, he commands any room he walks into… Yikes!

He is so evil that he would kill at will – in fact, he was even prepared to kill a baby.

Why do you think Voldemort became the way he is? What made him so bad? Or, was he always like this?

My thoughts: Voldemort, or Tom Riddle as he was, started off in a terrible orphanage where no one really cared for him. Maybe he might have been ‘brilliant’ in a different way if the start of his life had been better? Who knows…

I see Dolores Umbridge is on this list too. Wow! What a super villain she is! I love how she seems so nice, all dressed in pink and her passion for adorable kittens! And her sweetness and light voice – always smiling, even when she is saying or doing something utterly horrid!

Villains that seem like they are one thing – but then turn out to be something else, I think work really well.

What other characters can you think of that are like this? Perhaps you can find some on the list?

Now it’s time to create your own baddies…

I would like you to create your very own BADDIES! I want to see an army of them, and I want them BADDER THAN BAD!

These baddies could be used in the story you started last week, or they could be developed for use in another story.

By the end of this task, you should have a dastardly, but believable, baddie of your very own.

To make a really believable baddie, there are a few things to think about. See if you can answer these questions:

Q1: What is your baddie called?

Try and choose a memorable name, that might also give away a bit about their character. I think all my mother-in-law’s friends all sound like baddies, because they give each other funny nicknames! Perhaps some of these might inspire you…

Pat the Hat, Pick Axe Pat, Scary Mary, John the Scissors, (because he is a barber) Gappy Pete, Jack the Frame (he is an artist,) The Duke, Race Along Rita, and Hairy Harry.

You can see that lots of them rhyme or have alliteration, which makes them memorable! You can use one of these if you like or make up one of your own.

Q2: Does your baddie have special powers?

You can go really wild here! Do they have laser eyes, for example? Can they fly? Are they incredibly strong? When they eat nuts, do they turn into a squirrel? The wackier the better, I think…

It might be fun to tie these powers into their name? Hairy Harry for example, might have a massive beard that he hides things in? Racy Along Rita might run really fast…

(If you are following on from your opening last week, you may want to connect them to your found object – perhaps, your baddie is after it? Or scared of it?)

Q3: What does your baddie want to achieve – what is their goal?

What is your baddie’s end goal? World domination is always a popular one, but you could choose anything – and it’s good to think about the world that they’re operating in. Do they want to steal money, gold, or lots of chocolate? Do they want to become your headteacher and take over the school? Are they trying to kidnap your granny? Or do they want to become Prime Minister?

Or, again, you might like to think how you could tying this in to your previous story?

Q4: Where does your baddie come from?

Maybe they come from space? Or another country, another time in history? Or from your freezer! – you could choose absolutely anything. I’d like to see some really crazy ideas for this!

Q5: What does your baddie look like?

What do they wear? How do they speak? Do they appear to be really nice and normal – but it’s only to hide their more sinister side? Or perhaps they sport a super-villain costume?

Q6: What made your baddie so bad?

Were they born bad? Or did something happen to make them the way they are? Have a think, a good back story really helps to make your baddie believable, and also helps you to understand them more. You can have a think back to some of the villains we talked about above too, and what their backgrounds were.

Q7: What is their weakness?

As you discussed earlier, your baddie having a weakness really helps them come to life. And it also gives your main character a chance to overcome them.

By the way, if I was a baddie, my weakness would be mayonnaise! I can’t abide the stuff. (I’m shuddering at the very thought!)

And that’s it! Hopefully by the end of this you will have developed your very own CARDEN PRIMARY BADDIE ARMY! Scary stuff indeed…

GOOD LUCK Carden Primary – I can’t wait to meet your baddies!

*Rushes off to hide…*

*cowering in the corner* is it safe to come out????!!!!! Well no. quite frankly it isn’t and quite frankly if you are of a nervous disposition, you might want to look away now…. because Carden have created some of the baddest creatures in the cosmos  (be brave be brave and please please don’t give us nightmares!!!)


We are all a bit terrified and hope never to encounter the Black Knight, Bad Bob, Snaky Saisha, Dead Beatrice and the rest of the horrifying gang IRL.

Equally frightened was Imogen….

WOW! I am so super impressed by the work you did on this task! The amount of creativity and ideas you showed when developing your own baddies totally blew me away! You are all really great storytellers. Huge congratulations!

(Your baddies actually gave me goosepimples!)
I have written each of you a little note on your work…

Oo, ‘Black Beard.’ A great name! How sad that Bob, (as he was previously known!) was badly bullied and called a nerd – this made me feel sorry for him and gave the character more depth, and therefore more believable. Great stuff!
But then… Bob got so annoyed he began to change… His blue eyes turned dark red. Yikes! And his hair too. I love the idea of him running to his garage as the full change takes control, and hebecomes…
Black Beard! (Did he ever get a black beard by the way?) Oh, my word, he really does go bonkers doesn’t he! I’m terrified of him!

Best of all I love that his weakness is HOTDOGS! – who would have thought! I really loved the addeddetail of, ‘especially those with mustard in!’ I am so glad you gave Black Beard a weakness, so someone can overcome him – otherwise I would have sleepless nights! Great task work here. Well done!

‘The Black Knight’ sounds really dastardly! I loved his red eyes, and how you had developed a nemesis for him, ‘The Red Knight.’ Excellent!
You also gave him a really great backstory about why he became so bad. How he failed in a knight mission – an event he never recovered from. This detail really helped me understand why he became the way he is, making him more believable as a character. You followed this task perfectly.

Sintha Star is very disturbing! Well done! I loved how she isn’t normal because she is from Mars! Ace! And her big hair, and her ‘cold soul eyes like ice’ – what a fabulous description. Really impressed! And then, you managed to introduce your ‘orb’ from the previous task too! Full marks. What a great story!

‘Snaky Saisha is really cold blooded.” This opening line had me hooked straight away! Fabulous. And I loved the alphabet part, where she could say all the letters perfectly until she got to ‘s’, Ssssss. This idea was really in keeping with her snaky character – which I thought was brilliant! I felt really sorry for her when her classmates were mean to her – and then she turned BAD! This backstory gave your baddie real depth. Well done Fatima, you totally nailed this task!

I loved the way you described your baddie, ‘Dead Beatrice.’ A teenager with ‘royal red hair,’ and, ‘sky blue eyes,’ and how you made her complexion spotty and that she wore a long black leather coat. I can totally visualize her. Fantastic work!

But, WOW, didn’t she turn spectacularly BAD! Doing away with her own mother! YIKES! That is sooo BAD!
You also managed to give her a weakness – that being ‘Love.’ But more than that, it was a teenager type of love – falling for a boy, which again is in keeping with her character. Well done you. Great work!
Then, to top it all off, you managed to include your ‘bronze amulet’ from last week! Totally brilliant! And Dead Beatrice’s goal is world domination – NO! (I am quaking in my boots!) – thank goodness you gave her that weakness, so someone could overcome her! Super, fabulous work!

I really like how you started up your story, “…when something happened…” It certainly made me want to read on!
The Red Knight sure did have a sad start to life, which made me feel sorry for him. But now he’s gone BAD, all down to that fantastic sword you created last week! The one from The Fire Age! Brilliant work. The Red Knight is now half black and half red, equally full of darkness and death. He really is a
proper sounding baddie, well done! You also managed to include his motivations – getting that sword back! – which is also his weakness. Excellent.
My favourite bit was how he graffitied the word ‘MAD,’ all over his castle – ‘The Tilted Towers.’ Ha! I love this – what a nutcase! Jake – you have totally nailed this task. Brilliant!

‘Bad Bob’ – a great baddie name! Very memorable. I love how he wasn’t always bad… once he was just Bob! This really made me laugh! I’m glad his mother at least loved him. Until… he went on that school trip to that chemical plant! And you left me on the cliffhanger of all cliffhangers… Bob stuck in that vat of chemicals… Oh no! My word, I so want to know what happened next. I love Bob already. Great work, and nice clear story telling. Fabulous!

‘Stealer Sam’ is a great baddie name. I felt so bad for him being sent to the orphanage – not because he didn’t have family, but because his parents couldn’t get a big enough family home to keep him. This is so sad – it made me feel really sorry for him. Great work on this backstory! But, who could have thought that a bite from his cute, fluffy pet mouse, ‘Bubbles,’ could have had such an effect on Sam. This part is totally brilliant! Because, the next day he transformed into Stealer
Sam – his hair turned black, he was now wearing a black cloak, and, (my favourite detail…) bright blue trousers. He felt very ANGRY!
I found your story totally fabulous, and I so want to know more about Bubbles the mouse. Where on earth is he from and how comes he has these devastating powers? Does he have an outfit too? I loved it Emma, well done!

Mystery Mark – is a totally great name, it makes me immediately intrigued. I love how no one sees him or what he’s up to. These traits suit his name perfectly. Ace.
Mystery Mark started out so nice, didn’t he? But then he went from being bullied to becoming a bully himself. Very sad – and a great backstory.
Well done for bringing in the Sarsen Stone from last week’s task. But, I was interested to know whether Mystery Mark felt drawn to touch the stone in the museum – is that why he broke the glass? I really love this and want to know what exactly happened when he touched it. This is such an intriguing idea and his character is wonderful. Best of all, for me, is that the only way to overcome Mystery Mark is to talk very calmly to him, even when he is shouting and being very
angry. Excellent! (Another thing I thought of, with his name being ‘Mystery Mark,’ I wondered whether maybe he could have a symbol of some sort? An actual mystery mark of his very own, perhaps have it on his top or something? What do you think?)
I love your amazing ideas. Well done Harry!

Your baddie, ‘Tigger Tiger’ is a nasty teacher – I love how her name sounds all friendly and nice, when really, she is dangerous!
Wow! Excellent detail about her being so hungry at the orphanage that she would escape at night and hunt like a tiger. I love how this detail ties in with her name.
And Tigger Tiger is after the magic zoo book you found in task one! Well done for getting this in. I am very intrigued to find out what happens next! Fantastic.

Harrison C M
Great idea having your baddie, ‘Tragic Trophy,’ starting off good but explaining how his dastardly parents sent him bad!
And well done too on getting your magic trophy involved from last week’s task! I love the trophy’s magic powers – how it can give its owner the ability to mind read. Ace. And also arm cannons and makes them able to fly! Wow – I can totally see why his evil parents want it so badly! Great work Harrison CM!

‘Dimond is an evil woman,’ – oo, I love this straight away!
I adore Dimond’s costume she wore before she turned bad: pigtails, dungarees and pink glasses! – I can really see this in my mind. Brilliant!
Great idea that the Science Fair turned her bad too.
Dimond being trapped in a ship bottle is a very interesting idea – a bit like a genie? But then, she snuck off each night to burgle rich people’s jewels. But, best of all, I LOVE how only mustard can defeat her! Ha! Brilliant! A great task Eva!

‘Deadly Dan,’ – I think is a great and memorable baddie name. I love the set up of Deadly Dan being rich and owning everything he ever wanted. And, I really like dogs being his weakness – I think you could have a lot of fun with this! Especially as it’s a dog that runs off with the family’s money! (is this the moment he cracks and becomes Deadly Dan?) A great start here – with some fabulous ideas!

‘Miss Bee likes eating humans…’ What an opening line – I was totally hooked! Well done. She’s a human bee – who looks like an ordinary girl. A genius idea. I love it. (I really want to know what she wears? In my mind she wears a yellow and black stripy jumper!)

Then she eats her friends and they become her worker bees – which is frightening and brilliant! – I love how the facts of your story reflect real bee behaviour. It is quite a horror story, isn’t it! You certainly have a very brilliant imagination! Great stuff!

‘Mal’s’ back story about how her best friend’s betrayal and her brother’s death is so very sad! I was really impressed that you got in your bracelet from last week’s task! Excellent. I really want to know how this bracelet is going to make her all powerful, so she can take her revenge and rule the world – Mwa-ha- haha!
I loved how you made her allergic to prawns, and I did wonder if her best friend, (who betrayed her,) would know this and perhaps use it against her? – what do you think? Fabulous work!

Harrison G
‘Keeper Kev,’ is a great name! I love how you chose him because you are a goalkeeper! (I thought he was going to go around keeping everything he found when I first heard his name! – I like your idea much more.) Poor Keeper Kev getting bullied like that. I felt so sorry for him, especially because the teachers didn’t
help him at all. But, WOW, that magic potion turned things around for him, didn’t it?
I totally adore his super long arms and legs – a brilliant goalkeeper super power to get hold of! FANTASTIC! I love how no one can get a goal against him. Ha!
I’m not sure if Keeper Kev is a baddie or not? Because, I really like him and want him to succeed. (Although putting salad cream in my sandwiches, as he did to the others, would floor me – what with my mayonnaise problem!) But, what you have created is a fantastic character in Keeper Kev. He is really well thought out and I am super impressed! Well done you!

I love your description of your baddie ‘Marv’s’ hair – ‘black like tarmac.” A great description. I also enjoyed how you gave Marv, a button nose and blue eyes – he sounds cute and harmless. But looks can be deceptive, because he is really evil! A great contrast here – well done! Well done too for getting your magic football back in from last week! The one found at the Waterhall that smelt of wet dog! (I loved that description!) What I wanted to know at the end, was how Marv uses the powers of his teleporting football to his advantage? – To become, perhaps, an even bigger villain? Well done Lewis – I really enjoyed this!

I love how colourful your baddie, ‘Silly Billy’s’ clothes are. And, wow! that cup of coffee really did transform him into someone evil and angry, didn’t it? I love how he wants that magic teleporting football to himself! (The one that you cleverly included from last week’s task!) His weakness of tomato sauce made me laugh too! I think you could have a lot of fun with this! I must say Tommy, you have really lovely handwriting! And your story has some super ideas. I really want to know how Silly Billy would use that teleporting football now! Well done!

Ooo…’Deathsythe’ – what a fabulous baddie name. I love his black hair and purple eyes – they totally compliment his name, don’t they? I want to know where that transforming purple cloud came from? It’s brilliant! Oh. My. Word. Deathsythe eats human shadows? – erm, yes please! This is totally fantastic! I love it.
I really want to read on and discover how Deathsythe gets defeated now! A really BRILLIANT idea. A massive thumbs up from me!

Super brilliant work from my super brilliant Adopt an Author Team at Carden Primary!

You have developed an army of truly terrifying baddies. Full of interesting backstories that explain why your baddies became the way they are. And amazing evil super powers and objects – and some really inventive weaknesses too. You have really impressed (and terrified!) me this week. Wonderful!

Wow Carden amazing work! We can’t wait to see what you’ve in store for us next week!

Team AAA


The Stanford Beetle Brigade BEGINS!

The Stanford Beetle Brigade are ready and reporting for their duties! And it didn’t take long for their adoptee officer M.G. Leonard to set this eager lot some brilliant Beetle Boy tasks!


You’ve got to really know your beetles, so M. G. Leonard asked everyone to create a fun filled beetle fact file!

Dear Maya
We were really over-joyed when we received our first e-mail. We have been busy creating our beetle fact files….

Stanford Beetle Brigade = experts in beetles! Have a look at some of their lovely work!



With their heads full of beetle facts they turned their attention to M. G. Leonard’s own beetle passion with some questions for her….

What made you interested in beetles?

Does your whole family like beetles?

Do you have any pet beetles?

How long have you been interested by beetles?

What is your favourite book that you have written?

What is your favourite beetle?

Are you thinking of writing any more books?

We hope you like the work we have sent you so far and we are looking forward to seeing what’s next.

We are enjoying the book so far!

Thank you for letting us adopt you!

Best beetle wishes

Stanford beetle brigade!

Stay tuned for M. G Leonard’s answer’s and more superb work from Stanford Juniors!

Team AAA


Benfield’s Gecko and Iguana class will be getting to know everything Pigsticks and Harold with author Alex Milway over the next few weeks and we can’t wait to join them on their adventure….


Dear Gecko and Iguana Class!

Alex here, I hope you are all well! It’s so great to be able to talk about Pigsticks and Harold with you. I’ve got loads of great things planned over the coming weeks, but rest assured, by the end of it you’ll  know and awful lot about them!
So, to start with, I thought It would be great to give you a very quick drawing lesson. I intentionally made Harold very simple to draw, mainly because I had to draw him so often. It can get tiring very quickly if you draw comics, and you have to draw someone over and over again!
I’ve attached a guide on how to draw him, so this week I would love you all to have a go. Give him a hat, or dress him up as you like. And if you want to draw him in a landscape or a room, or a setting from the book, that would be brilliant. Don’t hold back! You could even draw a speech bubble and make him say something. What might Harold say?
Most importantly, have fun with him. He looks very good in a tutu.
Thanks everyone,
draw harold

Dear Alex,

We are writing to you from all the Geckos and Iguanas. We are excited to be working with you because this afternoon we read some of your pages and we really like Harold and Pigsticks. Geckos particularly liked the pages with lots of smaller pictures and labels as we could all have a go at reading them. Iguanas were really laughing about the animal who thought he was in the toilet queue! We have all managed to draw Harold…..

And some new creations from Gecko Class  – Harold’s mum, sister and baby!

We love these drawings and especially being introduced to members of Harold’s family!

Check back soon to see what Alex thought of the brilliant drawings and what task he sets next!

Team AAA


Mile Oak, Year 6 already have their heads firmly stuck in Rob Lloyd Jones’ brilliant book Wild Boy!
Rob kicked off by asking the class ‘what is your favourite story and why’ –  we’re intrigued! Let’s have a little look……

‘What is my favourite story and why’

I really enjoyed reading your answers, and especially how many of you told me not just about the lot of your favourite stories, but also how your favourite stories make you feel.  You were excited, intrigued, thrilled – which are all big emotions!

Good stories are full of different feelings – anger, excitement, sadness, happiness, relief and lots more. Authors use those feelings to draw the readers into the story, and make have empathy for the main characters.  Once a reader feels for the characters, they want to follow them through all their adventures and will be totally gripped by the story.

A lot of you also talked about your favourite character in those stories, which is great! Character is SO important – as we’ll learn from the next exercise.

Several of you talked about CHARACTERS in your replies – which was really great! Kai, Julia, Harry, Rachel and Mia – as well as whoever wrote about Midnight Gang (sorry your name wasn’t on the reply)  – your answers were especially great, because you spoke about characters. Usually you like a story because you like the characters, or hate the characters – or find them funny. Characters are KEY to story telling.

So I thought I’d give you another little task.  Now that you know how books can make you feel, and how authors use feelings to make you like their characters, I want to think a bit more about the actual characters.  So think of your favourite character in any story – and describe that character in one or two sentences. You can write what they look like, but it’s more important to describe what sort of person they are. It doesn’t have to be the hero in a story – it could be a villain, or just a small character in a book that you particularly remember.

Thanks! Rob

Check in next week to see which characters Year 6 go crazy for!
Team AAA

The Amber Pendent

We are SO EXCITED that it’s the first week of 2018’s AMAZING Adopt an Author project! We will be eavesdropping on the conversations between classes and their adopted authors and sharing some spectacular work right here – so settle down and come take a peek…..

Carden’s first week of Adopt an Author has been brilliant, Year 6 have kicked off the conversation with their author Imogen White and they are getting to know each other really well! They’ve exchanged a fantastic task and we’re already blown away by the amazing work they’ve completed!

Here’s the Rose Muddle Mysteries author Imogen White saying a big HELLO!

Hello Team Carden Primary!

I am so excited to have you as my Adopt an Author team! I love this picture of you all! 😊

Team Carden Primary

The Amber Pendant is the first book in The Rose Muddle Mysteries. It is based around your area in Brighton and Hove!

This week we are going to think about: Found things. Buried things. Magic things.

When I write, I use local history for inspiration. I feel like a detective sniffing out clues about the past. In fact, rather than ‘Local History’ – I like to think of it as ‘Local Mystery.’

This once-buried object, Hove’s Amber Cup, inspired me to write The Rose Muddle Mysteries. It’s 3,500 years old! But it looks like a teacup, doesn’t it?

Hove’s Amber Cup: (Picture credit: Royal Pavilion & Museums, Brighton & Hove)


You can see this cup displayed at the Hove Museum. It was discovered in the Victorian times, beneath a massive burial mound (which looked like a hill, around twenty-foot-high – so probably taller than your school!)

When the Victorians flattened the burial mound in 1856 to build the houses near Palmeira Square, they discovered the skeleton of a Bronze Age person. From the goods that were arranged in the grave, they realized that this person must have once been very important. And in amongst these things, was the amber cup.

I wonder how the workman felt who discovered all these things? I am imagining a sea mist sweeping in on an early winter’s morning, when a worker’s spade suddenly hits something solid – something wooden… (Apparently the coffin turned to dust when it was exposed to the air, revealing the bones inside… Spooky!)

Once all the valuable objects were removed from the grave, the bones were just dumped with the topsoil to make up the gardens of Palmeira Square. So, the next time you wander through there, just remember those bones are still there somewhere!

When I found all this out, I couldn’t stop thinking about who this forgotten person might have been? And why were they buried with this cup? And that’s how The Amber Pendant and The Rose Muddle Mysteries began!

As well as local history, I like to include lots of magical objects in my books. In The Amber Pendant, Hove’s Amber Cup contains ancient and dark magic. And my heroine, Rose Muddle, who is plucked from the workhouse, inherits a pendant that gives her special abilities too.

But, I want to know what magical object you would like to find and what it would do? So…

First Task: Imagine you have found a magic object!

  1. Choose an object:

What exactly is your object? – it could be anything. Is it old? New? Broken? Maybe it smells of something? Write a sentence describing it.

  1. Give it magic!

What magical powers might your object have? (I love this bit!) Does it contain good or bad magic? Maybe it gives its owners special abilities? Write a sentence describing its magic, and what it can do.

  1. Where do you find your object?

Maybe you found the object in your school, in your back garden, or even washed up on the beach. It can be anywhere – you decide. Write a sentence describing where you found your magic object.

  1. Let the story begin!

Now that you have settled on all the ideas above. (And if you have time!) I’d like you to bring them all together and to write about the moment you found your object, using all the details you have decided upon above. Try and add as much atmosphere and description as you can.

Remember to include Whereyou found it, what it is and what it looks like.

How do you feel when you discover it? Are you excited? Scared? Anxious? Intrigued?

What does it feel like to hold? Is it rough? Smooth? Does it vibrate or do something unusual? Do you think it might be magic straight away? If so, why?

And, if you can, try to leave it on a cliffhanger!

If you can bring all these parts together, you should find you have a pretty ace opening to your own book! I really hope you enjoy the task – and I can’t wait to hear how you all get on.


Speak soon,

Imogen 😊

And well, let’s just say Team Carden Primary were up to Imogen’s challenge – check out these AMAZING magical objects…!

Imogen was super impressed….

Wow! Carden Primary – what extraordinary objects you imagined finding, and I loved the descriptions, magical powers and cliffhangers! I was on the edge of my seat! So much talent and creative ideas. I have written a little message for each of you:

What a great idea to have a football that upgrades to a new one each time you kick it! I like that it was a bit old and stinky when you first found it. I think that would be a very brilliant football to have it, as it would always the very latest model! Great idea.

A diamond encrusted, golden orb – with magic strong enough to make you telepathic, sound great! I love the image of you finding it in the forest and your hands were trembling when you held it. And then the spooky vision at the end, of the abandoned house all dusty and cobwebbed – what a cliffhanger! Excellent.

I loved your dancing shoes! And the way you described the moon glinting on the
crashing waves, and the wind blowing you hair – great atmosphere building writing! PS I want those shoes! Do they make you dance well? – I can’t dance at all!

A football with dark magic – I’m hooked straight away! And it can transport you to other places – I wonder where it would take you? And you found it in a graveyard. So, so cool. I think you could have a lot of fun with this story. Love it.

A pencil that brings your drawings to life is extremely exciting. I also loved your
description of the basement: Dark with creaking floorboards! Yikes!

Harrison CM
A ‘glimmering trophy’ that you found in the forest. Love this – its like a chalice, and there are lots of old legends about such things – like King Arthur. A very magical and brilliant idea.

Harrison G
Your football sounds great! It transports you to wherever you kick it – that could be
really handy! And gosh, it smells of old people’s feet! By the way, I love your description in the graveyard, “There were no cars, no people and no lights…” Really atmospheric.

I love the idea of your object, “glowing in a dark purple way.” Very scary sounding. And then it gave you magical armour – I want one! And a great cliffhanger, leaving us with the monsters getting bigger! Yikes!

Your idea of a magic, yellow water bottle from the future is very unique. I like how it
never runs out of water and gives you invincibility for two minutes! I wonder how it feels to be invincible?“I walked over to take a look. I could feel the atmosphere change…” Great writing, I definitely wanted to read on – well done Ruby!

A sparkly pink pen that shoots lasers, burns things and teleports you – what an object! And, hang on a minute – you were reading The Rose Muddle Mysteries in your story! Ha! Wonderful!!

Your football smells like a wet dog – yep, that’s stinky!
I love that you found it at Waterhall. Those football pitches always seem so cold and
windy, don’t they? – even when the rest of Brighton isn’t. I always think that place has its own weather system! If your magic football could transport you anywhere – just imagine all the football matches you could sneak in to watch! (Maybe even back in time to when England won the World Cup!)

Wow – I love the sound of your diamond necklace that glows at night! And that it always gives you good dreams. I also really liked you finding it down a rabbit hole – a great idea! And, I love your cliffhanger of the voice calling from the bushes. Brilliant!

A Zoo Book that you found in the school library that smells of animals – genius!
Also, a great idea that it called to you and glowed! I really wanted to read on after your cliffhanger, what did you see??? Excellent!

No Name
A dark red crystal shaped like a glue stick – a great sounding object! Plus, it shoots out magic bolts! And it also gives the owner an armour and sword – are these dark red also? Love that you found this on Halloween. I found the police searching for you in the darkness with searchlights very visual – I could really see that in my mind. Then one goes missing… Really great ideas here. Well done you!

A dusty, bronze amulet – lovely! And its magic changes the weather – that’s a good idea. Nice cliffhanger too, inside that restricted building… Fabulous!

My goodness me – a Sarsen Stone! You and me definitely seem to like the same kinds
of things! A magic standing stone that takes you through its history – that is incredibly brilliant. I wonder what secrets it might reveal? “The trees were like goblins.” Wow, such a fabulous description. Then you left me with “I went to touch it…” Brilliant ending. I absolutely want to know more!

I am loving your idea of a diamond bracelet with the power of invisibility. And having it washed up from the sea is a great place to find it. I also loved your ending, how you put it on, and completely disappeared! Totally fabulous. I wonder what adventures you could get up to with such a thing?

Is yours a sword that glows when you touch it? I love its magic and how it comes from a time known as The Fire Age. I want to know more about The Fire Age for sure! A great idea. I wonder who this sword once belonged to in The Fire Age?

Your clock sounds brilliant! So, it starts to glow red when you touch it? That sounds very magical indeed. I wonder if it could send you shooing through time? A great opening to a story. Well done Elizabeth.

Wow! Carden Year 6, you certainly conjured up some pretty special magical objects! Amazing work, we can’t wait for the next instalment!

Love team AAA

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We are currently experiencing same level excitement as Charlie Bucket, you know when he peels away the foil from his golden ticket chocolate bar??!! Yes, yes, we are THAT EXCITED….. because we can now reveal the Brighton & Hove primary classes who have successfully ADOPTED THEIR 2018 AUTHOR’S…..




We are absolutely thrilled that Rob Lloyd Jones will be returning to the project to take Year 6 from Mile Oak on a fantastic adventure with his wonderful book Wild Boy.

Next up we welcome Imogen White to the project who will be introducing Carden Primary to Rose Muddle in The Amber Pendent – an exciting magical mystery full of captivating twists and turns…..

Alex Milway brings to Benfield Primary the adventures of Pigsticks, the world’s most optimistic pig, and his sidekick Harold, an over-anxious hamster in his joyous and hilarious story Pigsticks and Harrold.

And finally, M. G. Leonard will be sharing insights into her beautiful and brave Beetle Boy to Year 5 & 6 Stanford Juniors. We can’t wait!

Running for 15 years by Collected Works as a Brighton Festival project, Adopt an Author is a very special programme promoting literacy and encouraging creative writing and illustrating. Over 10 weeks children will be corresponding with their paired writers, sharing thoughts on the book and making intriguing discoveries about the creative process. Pupils will be posing questions to the authors such as – ‘what encouraged you to be a writer?’ and ‘if you were stranded on a desert island and only had two historical people for company who would you choose and why?’ – I bet that one’s got you thinking!

Please check back for updates on what is going to be a very exciting Adopt An Author 2018!



Adopt an Author Parties 2017!

Did anyone say party?!!!! That’s right, we’re at the end of the brilliant 2017 Adopt An Author. St Luke’s, Goldstone, Mile Oak and Carden have all read, written, illustrated and taken care of their adopted author’s superbly, so it is now time to celebrate this fantastic project coming to an end for this year and what better way than for classes to meet their authors in person!

First up Ali Sparkes took us back in time to her childhood and on the road to becoming an author in the 1970s….

Goldstone’s Year 3 met their adopted author Guy Bass AND his character STITCH HEAD at The Brighton Dome, where they ate yummy Pizza Face Pizza…

Excitement levels were high when Mile Oak met their Perijee and Me author Ross Montgomery – was pineapple on the menu…?

And for 2017’s last Adopt an Author party, Carden chatted Ninja films and Egyptian tombs with Rob Lloyd Jones!

The 2017 Adopt an Author project has been a wonderful success, it has been an absolute joy to see the incredible work all the children have produced and to hear how confidence has grown amongst many readers. We’ve been blown away by the stories written, character descriptions, cover art and illustrations to name just a few tasks and delighted to see the relationships with classes and authors blossom! What a fun project! Can we do it again next year?!!!

A huge thank you to all the teachers, assistants, authors and of course the children who took part. It’s been brilliant!

Team AAA x

Rock & Ryhmes

Over to St Luke’s Adopted Author Ali Sparkes who’s set a rad rhyming challenge….

Hello again, 5P!

I know you’re all reading Dark Summer so I wonder if you can guess what kind of rock this is…

To give you a clue, I found this at the top end of a pot hole in the Mendip Hills in Somerset while I was there researching for Dark Summer. I got to meet the people who run the Wookey Hole Caves tours – and they showed me the places where tourists don’t usually get to go including an amazing miniature cave, filled with tiny stalactites and stalagmites and frozen rivers of rock. It was beautiful but you could only reach it up a ladder, with a torch, which is why the public don’t normally go there. While I was there the cave manager agreed to turn off the torch so I could experience the ultimate DARKNESS. It was quite something. It was so utterly dark it felt like someone had pushed black velvet against my eyeballs.

I also got to meet a cave diver and rescue guy (the one called Dan who is in the story is based on Dany, who helped me with my research). He told me exactly how cave rescues work and little details like the warm oyxgen canisters they use to revive injured cavers, which they call Little Dragons.

Anyway, you’ll know by now that one of the things Eddie loves is messing around with words. You’ll have noticed that I messed around with the words to the song I WILL SURVIVE. I hope you all know it and can hear the music in your head as Eddie’s singing ‘…and then I spent so many nights remembering you look like King Kong and I grew strong… ‘cos girls with that much hair are wrong…’

Changing the lyrics to songs is a really good way of learning about rhyming and rhythm. Many people can rhyme words but not so many people can get then to scan correctly. This means the rhythm is right and when you read it out loud it really works. You should always read a rhyming poem you’ve written out loud to check the rhythm is right. An author who is really good at this is Dr Seuss who wrote The Cat In the Hat and many other rhyming stories.

Can you rhyme and scan? Give it a go. Think of a really well known song and then mess around with the lyrics. I’ll give you a theme to make it easier – how about FRUIT AND VEG! Anything to do with fruit and veg will be great. So if you rewrote Happy Birthday it might go like this:

I need spuds for my stew

And a big turnip too

And tomatoes

And potatoes

And a small slice of you

(Written by a polite cannibal.)

If you sing this now, you’ll find all the words fit the rhythm exactly. So – have a go. Use any song you like (but which most people will know, so they can hear the tune in their heads) and work fruit and veg into it somehow. Practise it out loud and see how you do!

Good luck, 5P.

PS. This line of warning, which I wrote this morning, will cease to rhyme, in two seconds time, when I randomly tail off without any further effort…

PPS. The rock in the picture is limestone with a bit of quartz and iron oxide on the top.

Never ones to shy away from such a challenge 5P accepted the task with gusto and created some first-rate rhymes!

Wow! A banana called Ana, a trip to Ghana, a nana called Hannah Montana from Louisiana! Scary peas, shoes stolen by emu’s, falling in love with carrot soup – 5P your rhyming is fantastic but also EXTREMELY FUNNY!!!

That was 5P’s last challenge – next stop THE DOME!!!!! Until then….

Team AAA x

6L’s final week!!!!

Eeeeeeek, it’s the final week of Adopt an Author, Mile Oak have had an amazing project and created some brilliant work, but it’s not over just yet… Ross Montgomery has been in touch for the last time before he meets them at The Dome (exciting!) to answer some of 6L’s questions!)
Dear 6L,
It’s upon us – the final week! Waaaaaaah
Image result for crying gif
I loved looking through the designs of your planets – you did so much work! Especially considering how busy you all are at the moment.
Thanks again for all your great work. Now to answer your questions!
What do you think the monster that took over Perijee looks like? Ellie
To be honest, I’m not 100% sure – it’s quite hard to visualise isn’t it? I suppose that in my head it looks like a vast bloated snake covered in long tentacles that look like hair, but I tried to avoid describing it in the book as much as possible – there’s a saying that you should only create the first half of your book, and let your reader create the rest. That means that you shouldn’t describe EVERYTHING – sometimes it’s better to leave things unsaid, and let your reader imagine the rest!
How did you get the name Obsidian Blade and have you ever felt that someone will come and get you at night? Freya R
I’m so glad you thought about the name Obsidian Blade! Obsidian is a rock that is incredibly dark and incredibly sharp – in fact it’s so sharp that it can cut BETWEEN the cells in your body!! Aztec priests used to use Obsidian knives in their sacrifices – and without giving too much away, that gives you a bit of a clue as to what’s coming up later…
As for thinking something’s going to come and get me in the night: my cat starts fights with others cats at 4am and runs back in the house screaming. If you ever want to wake up terrified, it’s a pretty effective method.
Did you create the Obsidian Blade mark? Caitlin
Sort of!! I sent my publisher a design on Microsoft paint, saying that I was happy for them to come up with something better – in the end they took most of my idea anyway. It’s supposed to be a crucifix that looks like a dagger, with tentacles – you should be able to see the initials OB in there too! Below is what I sent my publisher – as you can see, it’s pretty rubbish.
Inline image 1
Is Wanderly based on a place you’ve seen/heard of? Caitlin
Oooh, interesting – when I visualise it in my head, it doesn’t look like anywhere I recognise! That can happen a lot – it’s often not until I’ve finished writing a book that I realise I’ve based places and characters on real places and people I know. For example, when I think of Middle Island I picture the pig farm I used to work on in Yorkshire when I was 21. I imagine Wanderly is based on the big rural towns that used to be near the farm – places like Knaresborough, Harrogate and Northallerton. How good are those names?!
How did you come up with the idea of stealing a yacht and supergluing people’s feet to the floor? (Funny thought)! Alfie
Glad you like it! I wanted Caitlin and Fi’s journey to have lots of different “stages”, so it made sense for some of it to be on land and some of it to be on water. I also liked the idea of it being confusing and chaotic – and how the reader has no idea what Caitlin did to steal the yacht! Again, I think it’s nice to let the reader make up their own minds sometimes – it makes reading even more fascinating when you know that everyone comes up with a slightly different idea or image in their mind.
What gave you the idea to make Perijee have patterns all over him?
I suppose part of it was wanting to do something different – a type of alien that hasn’t been shown before in books and films (although I’m sure that someone has thought up an alien covered in writing before!) I also wanted to link it to Caitlin’s problems with dyslexia – to Caitlin, all writing seems like an alien language. I wanted the reader to be confused and fascinated by what the symbols could mean, and that helps get an insight into what it’s like for Caitlin to read. There are lots of themes in the book about symbols and reading – hence why I included a symbol for Obsidian Blade rather than just writing their name!
Why did you decide to put a cow in the life jacket? Kayleigh
Because it is hilarious. If in doubt, put a cow in a life jacket!
How did Perijee start growing tentacles? Alfie
Again, I have no idea – I like the idea of the reader coming up with an image in their mind. I do imagine it happening lightning-fast though, like when a venomous snake suddenly attacks…
You have been talking soooo much about Pineapples that I actually dreamt about one. Evelyn
Good. You should buy a pineapple nightlight!
I like the irony of them reading the boat safety manual while the boat is sinking next to them-Bradley
Thank you! It was a joke I added in at the last second and thought no one would find funny except me – looks like I was proved wrong!
Thanks again
6L have some wonderful comments on the book, it’s safe to say that they all really enjoyed Perijee and Me!
 I loved the book because you never knew what might happen next and when I read it I felt like I was IN IT! #Perijeeandmeforever – Mothakin

 I love the book because it really asks you the question ‘do aliens exist.’ Also you really get to know all characters and how they are all very different. Honor

 I loved the book because you never knew what was going to happen. And EVERY day we were left on cliff hangers. My favourite character was Perijee. Charlie T

 I absolutely loved the way that through the book the style type/genre changes like when it’s all adventurewhen they are collecting Perijee whilst he’s shrinking but then a few pages later Caitlin is saying goodbye to Perijee forever. Overall the book was astonishing and I would give it a 10/10  Charlie J

 The part of the story where Perijee returned to the ocean was so upsetting I wondered why you even added it but then I realised that that’s what makes it a great story – Evelyn

 The saddest bit is the ending it was so sad because I now miss Perijee – James

 The book was amazing! My favourite scene was when Perijee put a hole through the door and when Perijee said goodbye to Caitlin. That was so selfish of Perijee! Hehe. But overall it was the best book I’ve read. I would give it 10/10 (Great)! – Alfie

 I really loved the book. It’s full of adventure, humour and excitement. My favourite character is Fi because she’s very exciting and outgoing. I like the promotions of pineapples in the book but unfortunately I’m allergic to pineapple

 Perijee is also really cool because he’s funny and interesting. I’d definitely recommend this book and maybe read it again and again! 10/10 Ellie

 I loved the book it was amazing. I liked all the emotion, the characters and that there is so much we still don’t know. My favourite character was Fi because she is different and mysterious. Lauren

 I loved the book because there’s more than one cliff hanger. I like the fact that it felt kid friendly but also had some naughty words  My favourite characters are Fi and Frank because they came to the rescue at the last minute. 10/10 book. Jack

 The reason why I loved the book all together was because most of the scenes were emotional and made me develop feelings for the book too!  I also loved the bit when Perijee sunk into the water because the scene was emotional. Nayeema

 It was so SAD, why does Perijee have to go. It made me think of the scene at the end of the Titanic where the girl drops the boy into the sea while he is frozen. Louis

 I like that we got to say the words that Miss Liddle wouldn’t normally let us say but they weren’t that bad.

P.S. I LOVE THE BOOK because it’s funny and a sad book. When I was reading it I had mixed emotions. Freya R

 I loved the plot twist about how he lived in the water. Also I loved the characters personalities. But it was so sad at the end I almost cried! Courtney

 Great book, mix between Sci-fi and friendship. Love how you really get Caitlin’s character across. The

dyslexia and innocentness about her and how she is kind of simple. William

 I love the book because of all the detail in it. I also love the characters in it because they’re relatable. Also how sad it is but happy as well. Bradley

 It makes me feel like there’s another planet up there somewhere. I loved the book, my favourite scene was when the monster came in. Fin

 I liked Mother because she was funny at times. Kayleigh

 I really liked the book. Your way of writing is different and great to read. The way you write for kids but there are more important messages and all the unique characters. Caitlin

 My favourite character is Perijee because he was a mysterious little thing. The book is probably the best book in the whole world, better than Roald Dahl. I love how you have used all the similes and how it’s so creative. Brooke

 I loved the book, I like how they adopted Fi and that Frank lives with them and the story is fascinating and I just don’t want to put it down. My favourite character is Fi. – Freya S

 My favourite part of the book would be when Caitlin had to say goodbye to Perijee, it was very emotional and my eyes teared up. I love the similes, they are so detailed. Mia

 I loved how Fi got adopted and the fact that Caitlin drank champagne and felt dizzy and had to lie down! And in the whole book Perijee was very cute! I also like how Frank used some rude language. Amelia

See you at The Dome 6L and Ross!
Team AAA x

Potion Devotion

This week Goldstone’s Year 3 have brewed the most potent of tonics in Guy’s potion project….

Hm, seems like all this superb sideshow silliness has given me an appetite – and nothing satisfies my hunger like a tasty bowl of challenge soup…

By now, you’re all so immersed in the world of Castle Grotteskew you might as well be mad professors. Or perhaps you already are.
So, your not-quite-but-nearly final challenge is to create your own powerfully potent potion! Here are some things to consider:
– Is it a monster-making or creation-curing concoction? Is it something Professor Erasmus might create in his lab or would you more likely find it in Stitch Head’s dungeon?
– What is the potion‘s desired effect?
– What exactly is your potion made from? It should have at least five (but no more than five hundred) incredible ingredients.
– What’s the name of your potion?
Don’t forget to include a picture of the bottle, complete with label!
Good luck!
P.S. Have yourselves a DINGLE DANGLE!
Should author / illustrator not take the fancy of some of Year 3’s we think that a prosperous career in the world of pharmaceuticals or mad professors might just work out…their potion’s are positively perfect!
Pupil’s Josh and Ben shared some designs….

We’ve dingled and we’ve dangled till we’re feeling rather dizzy.

We created and mixed, squashed, squished and splatted until the potions are complete.

We’ve got the epilogue to read so we are really hoping that Stitch Head is remembered. Arabella is hopefully a friend to Stitch Head. We really enjoyed the way she speaks and we often call her Angrybella which makes us laugh. Another name for Angrybella is Arolella.

We have enjoyed the book a lot. I, (Ben) think this is my favourite book yet. The monster is the funniest character in the book (Josh).

See you soon. Have yourself a Dingle Dangle back!

Josh and Ben

We love Arthur’s explosive spray – the hand-grenade bottle is inspired! Top marks to the name Smell and Yell (lol!) and Ewan your potion that turns nice monsters into ferocious monsters – ABSOLUTELY TERRIFYING!!!! They are all brilliant and terrifying and gruesome and I hope never to find such a potion in my bathroom cabinet!

Well done Goldstone Year 3 – super work!

Team AAA x