Wow, week 2 of AAA and our classes are impressing us and their adopted authors with their creativity!
Ali emailed class 5p at St Lukes’ to share her enthusiasm for her fictitious or fact?! challenge!
Your FACTS all look completely believable. I don’t doubt that Naomie has walked in a jungle, that John has a cat called Mango, that Natty does not not have a pet, that Sami knows how to ride a bike, that Ivy sticks her tongue out when drawing, that Brendan bellyflopped and it didn’t hurt and that Jake has six fingers on his left hand.
I believe ALL of this. The stories were fantastic too.
Naomie, the Ferrari showing up just in the nick of time was excellent. How do you think this happened? Was it complete chance or did Sam have a secret fairy godmother?
John, the miniature alien was inspired. But hey – you went for the old tried and trusted ‘Ooooh – it was ALL a dreeeeeam’ line. COP OUT!
Natty – another alien (you can’t go wrong with aliens) – and THREE GOLD STARS for mentioning a fox called Dax.
Sami – the whole iPhone thing was very believable. Is Sam really going to get a fake plastic one. Can you get such a thing? If not he may have to make one.. out of papier mache or clay or chewed up Haribos…
Brendan. Hmmmm. Vomit. Blood filled eyes. Friends dropping dead. I’m a little concerned. Are your mates edging away from you right now? They should be…
Jake – I love the tension and build up of the demonic thing under the cloth. I’m not sure where the big fat fib comes in but – hey – A trail of sparkly death! What a great line!
My favourite has to be the tomato ketchup beast, though! The kids are thrown backwards, crashing into chairs and tables, knocking over lamps and computers…. tomato ketchup being squirted everywhere. BRILLIANT description, Ivy!
This is all VERY promising.
Breakdancing, bad hair, a giant rainbow unicorn, a soggy phone and a blob fish that goes WOOF are just a few of the themes from the next task Ali set – 5p we LOVE your imaginations!
Miss Liddle from Mile Oak shared the children’s thoughts on Perijee and Me’s first chapter and the mixed reviews about the first draft!
The children said that they prefer how the first chapter is like a flashback to when Caitlin first met Perijee and then it goes back in time to fill in the gaps. They also liked how it ended on a cliff hanger.
- Your first draft starts as many other stories do, whereas this one is more unique.
- They thought your first draft gave too much away too quickly. In the book we’re reading, you drip-feed us information about Caitlin and her life/family.There were mixed reviews about whether the children would’ve enjoyed the chapter about Caitlin’s school life. Some preferred that you had left that out and that we know that Caitlin is upset due to her actions e.g. smashing the pineapple and crying to Frank. A few children would’ve liked to have known a little about her school life and the children’s reactions to her bringing in a pineapple.It was funny what you said about Caitlin getting annoyed about her name being spelt incorrectly, as we have a Caitlin in our class and she feels the same way.
Ross is delighted that 6L enjoyed his first draft and made a great point – “I hope you can see that even authors start off a little rubbish before they improve!” Thanks for sharing Ross!
From writing to illustration – what a talented bunch! Just look at these amazing aliens!
6L you blew Ross away with these kooky creations and stunning similes!!!
I can’t tell you what a delight it was to open my inbox and find your alien drawings! There were so many different and (let’s be honest, bizarre) varieties of aliens – everything from cute and cuddly to outright disgusting. I loved your use of descriptive similes as well – you’ve clearly been hard at work on your SATS! It’s very hard for me to choose a favourite from so many great drawings but here are some similes I thought were excellent:
- Nayeema: “swirled patterns as strange as surprises”. LOVE that recurring Sssss sound you make!
- Evelyn: “heart as sad as the lonely sea at night” Wow! It almost made me feel sorry for the alien despite the fact it’s chopping off someone’s head…
- Caitlin: “kind as a shy doe” There are lots of “i” sounds in this that make it sound wonderful!
- Bradley: “horns as pointed as the summit of a mountain” Love this! You could have said “top of a mountain”, but summit sounds so much better (and pointier!)
Next up Ross answered some intriguing questions….
Was Perijee responsible for the storm? (Ellie)
This would be giving everything away! I’m afraid you’ll just have to read on to find out…Is the island based on a real place? (Jack)Good question! I didn’t set out to base it on any place, but I was thinking of remote islands off the coast of Scotland when I started writing it. In fact, in the first draft I used actual place names and the story took place in Scotland! In the end I thought it worked better if it was just a nameless country very much like ours…
The kind of island I was thinking off was a place like the Outer Hebrides – I’ve always wanted to go and finally got to visit last summer! You have to get a boat from another island to get to them – they’re miles away from anything and such a strange, magical place. The water is absolutely freezing – if you look off the coast in one direction the nearest land is the Arctic – but its sky blue, and the island is FILLED with sea lions and crabs and dolphins and thousands of sea birds.
How long have you written books for? (Bilal)I’ve always written stories because I love doing it – and not just books either! I used to love making comic strips and writing film scripts – in fact, I feel like I learned just as much from comics and films about how to make stories. Of course, you can’t write stories if you don’t read a lot, and I did that too.
I started writing a proper book when I was 17, so 13 years ago now – I did it with my sister and we spent 4 years writing a children’s book together! Then the moment we finished it we realised it wasn’t very good. I decided to have another go at another book on my own, and wrote ALEX, THE DOG AND THE UNOPENABLE DOOR. It took me two years to write it, then another two years to edit it after I got signed to my publisher… so that’s a good eight years of writing until I finally saw my book on a bookshelf! It’s all worth it though – the only way to get good at something is to practise it, and writing stories is the best practise you can have to be a writer.
Do you believe in aliens? (Fin)
I have no idea! But I believe that in the scope of the enormous, vast universe, there must have at some point been another species living on another planet. Perhaps they died out millions of years ago. Perhaps, if we’re lucky, they’re still alive. But whether or not we’ll ever be lucky enough to talk to each other is another matter…
Where do you get some imaginative ideas for your book? (Mothakin)I wish I knew! An idea tends to jump at you when you least expect it – if you’re like me, you have to scribble it down before you forget it. I have a whole notebook I carry with me where I put down my ideas – then, when I need to come up with a new idea for a book, I look through and see what captures my attention. It might just be a tiny detail, but then I’ll build on it until it becomes an idea and then a character and then a book…To give an example: I was walking though Charing Cross station when I saw a man selling small toy boats. they were made of tin, and powered by a little candle – like this!I thought “Imagine if a mouse had to ride that across the sea!” I wrote it down, then when I revisited it I turned it into a story about a mouse who carries a candle across the ocean because he wants to take it to the stars. I gave it to my editor, we changed loads of things – including the main character – and now it’s coming out next year as a picture book! It’ll be called SPACE TORTOISE and the illustrations are by David Litchfield, who did the front cover for PERIJEE & ME. I’ve attached a sneak peek of one of the pages!
We need to slow down reading Perijee and Me as we want to read it everyday!
From Carden to China (what an exotic bunch!) – which is where author Rob Lloyd Jones currently is and he’s got some feedback and cool insights into character!
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. 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 form the next exercise.
I’ve written some comments on your thoughts for each of you below. And 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 a few 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.
Bradley and Leah:
You both liked the BFG – great choice! Leah said Sophie was brave and Bradley that he liked the characters. That’s great! Characters ate very important!
Evan and Connor:
I love the Walking Dead too! You both likes certain characters, which are the reason these stories are so popular- not because of the zombies, but because you love the characters fighting the zombies.
You said Harely Quinn makes you think about your own life – that’s brilliant! It means you were really involved in the story.
I liked that you said Star Wars left you on the edge of your seat. Good stories always leave you wanting more like that.
You liked Miss Root in the Demon Dentist. I agree, she’s great! Well written villains can sometimes make stories really special.
I LOVE the Ruby Redford books!! Mystery books are great because they keep you guessing, and wanting to know more.
I’ve not read Has anyone Seen Jessica Jenkins, but it sounds great. You said you love it because it has lots of action – but I bet what you really love is the character in the middle of all that action?
I haven’t read the Gone books, but they sound really good. You said you love the cliffhangers – which is great. The writer has managed to grip you, to make you read more.
I love the Gone in 60 Seconds too! You said you like it because it’s full of action, but I wonder if that is more that you like the characters in the action? If the characters were not unique, or interesting, then would the action be enough to make you love the story?
Life of Pi is wonderful! I was interested that you said you feel emotional about the characters. The best authors will draw you in like that – to draw the reader into the story, and make them feel the same emotions as the main character.
Harry Potter stories are brilliant. You said your favourite art is about Hermione – so I’m guessing she is your favourite character? You could maybe write more about her in the next task?
Diary of a Wimpy Kid is a great choice. You said you feel on the edge of your seat. The author wanted you to feel that way, so you would keep reading and be gripped.
The Cat in the Hat sounds like fun! You said it has funny characters, so its great that you were thinking about the characters – which are what makes a story great.
I’ve never read Young Sherlock Holmes, but I love the older books. I like that you said you feel the main character questions everything. Sherlock Homes has been very popular for a long time, for the same reasons that you loved it so much – because the author makes you intrigued, and want to read on.
You like Sofia Sofa in Worlds Worst Children because she is ‘unique’. That’s brilliant! The best stories all have unique characters, who you want to find out more about.
I adore the Percy Jackson books. They are packed with so much fun and crazy action – but I was interested that what you spoke about Annabeth, and how she feels. All that detail and fun action wouldn’t be very interesting unless you cared about the characters, which you do.
I’ve never read Shadow, but it sounds great. You said it makes you think more about your own life, which is very interesting. Authors try to make you feel that way, so you get drawn into the story more.
Off to Goldstone now where Guy had set a challenge for Year 3 to create their own pieces inspired by the action scenes in Stitch Head…
Here’s some great examples!
“He’s in the dungeon…he’s smashing the great door down!” mumbled Stitch Head nervously to himself. Right at the end of the dungeon, he could see a small bar silhouette pounding at the crooked door. Stitch Head silently crept towards the disturbing creature.
The strong, long door was splintering, the padlocks were rattling, and there was no time to think. He had to act now. With his body quivering with fear, Stitch Head silently crept towards the sinister creature.
He swiftly launched himself on the creature’s head with the magic potion securely in his pocket. With arms and legs wrapped firmly around its head, Stitch Head desperately hurled the potion into its disgusting, drooling mouth.
“It’s in the courtyard…it’s trying to clamber over the great wall.” Stitch Head snivelled to himself. In the far corner Stitch Head saw the creature falling down the mossy wall. It was frantically pulling itself up again. Stitch Head silently crept into the gloomy courtyard..
The creature was almost at the top of the wall, the time to act was now. Any second, it would escape. Stitch Head bolted through doors and clambered up the wall using the deep holes left in the stone wall and grabbed onto its shaggy hair. He climbed up his tree-trunk legs, over his mighty back and onto his huge head.
“It’s in the entrance hall…It’s trying to find it’s way out of the castle.” shivered Stitch Head cautiously to himself. At the end of the corridor, he could see a creature shaped silhouette crashing around frantically. Stitch Head quietly tip-toed to the shadows of the entrance hall.
It had almost broken down the wall, bricks and rubble were flying everywhere! Any moment now, it would smash the wall and be free. Stitch Head raced like a bolt of lightning, up to the beast and clambered up the wall, finally onto the beast’s shoulder.
Reports from Goldstone is that word is spreading about how great AAA is….!
Still having lots of giggles at the Creature and the children are loving the book. Other year groups are now asking who ‘this Stitch Head is’
Brilliant work from everyone! See you next week!