Category Archives: Authors

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

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Cool Characters at Carden!

Carden have been chatting all about character these past couple of weeks and in response to Rob’s last task have come up with some very interesting beings of their own – some we’d even like to meet IRL! Here’s a few examples of their brilliant work below:

Hello all

I loved reading your character descriptions. All of them were brilliantly described.

Bradley, Tayla, Darcey, Tommy, Max, Ella, Junior, Nillab,
All of your characters were so much fun to read, so thank you for telling me about them! It seemed that you had fun writing abut them too, because you told me a lot of great detail. You told me how your characters looked and Some of you added interesting background stories too, which is great. It would be good though to know a bit more about how your characters behave now. Characters should always be ACTING – that’s what teaches us about them, rather than how they look or dress. Have a think about how your characters act – are they kind, caring, or evil? Can you give me examples of them being so?

Aunittri
I love that you describe Violence Violet as ‘Nice and Brutal’ ! That is a very interesting way to describe someone – can you think why she is like that? And how does she show these two sides of herself?

Tarian
The Noose is cock and childish – that’s a nice bit of character description. Can you think of examples of how the character shows this?

Carol
Siera Everett is a cool character name! I love that you told me about how she took in the orphan boy – is shows the kind side of her character by the way she acts – which is perfect writing.

Humayra
I like the background details about Katie – and that you say she is Nosy and naughty! Can you think of ways she shows this about herself?

Aldric
I loved this Aldric! DJ sounds really interesting. You’ve created world and characters full of possible stories, with loads of good detail.

Ollie Wow – Dagon sounds really interesting! Why is he so evil though? You tell me how he became the god of the undead, but I’d like to know more about his feelings.

Phoebe
This is a great character description, Phoebe. You tell me a lot about who Sophie is, rather than what he looks like – which is perfect. She sounds like someone who would be a lot of fun to write a story about.

Hailey
This is such a lovely, simply idea for a character, Hailey – with loads of good background. I’d like to know a bit more abut who Loliea is NOW though. Think about her daily routines and hopes and fears…

Michael
Jonny Gibson sounds like a really interesting character, Michael. I like that he ‘hates children’ – but can you tell me why? You describe him well, telling me about who he is rather than what he looks like, which is great.

Lilia
Ziggie sounds like a very interesting character Lilia, and you describe her really
well. You say she is mischievous – but can you give me any examples of when and how?

Connor W
Its great that you chose to write a made u story about a real person, Connow – and a really interesting one too. There’s good background detail here = but can you tell me more about how Paul Pogba thinks and feels?

 

Rob thought that these characters were so great that they should take them further….

Now that you have thought up such great characters, lets do something with them. Most stories begin with a character living their normal life (some people call this the ‘status quo’). That normal life doesn’t have to be a USUAL life to you and me – but just one that for them in their world is normal. So Wild Boy’s normal life at the start is to live on a freak show and fight with Augustus Finch and spy on people using his detective skills. Then SOMETHING HAPPENS to thrusts the character from their normal life and into an adventure. In Wild Boy that SOMETHING is when he defends Sir Oswald and so he has to run away. So then he has to steal money to survive, which ends up with him stealing the mysterious letter – and after that the story takes off. I would like you to think of your character’s normal life that you have all described, and then think what THING could happen to them that would thrust them into a story, and maybe a little more in a paragraph about what that story might be.

Good luck!

Rob

 

We can’t wait to see what Ziggie, DJ, Siera Everett, Violence Violet et al have been up to! Nice work Carden!

Team AAA x

Thunderbolts & Lightening very very…spooky…

Ali got in touch with 5p this week to share her thoughts on their “seriously bonkers” work! Let’s read her email below…

Dear Class 5P

Well, what can I say? I was concerned about you all last week, and this week I KNOW you’re all seriously bonkers! What IS Paul feeding you? Several million miniature winged goats? (Thanks for that, Zain.)

Your Fill In Fun stories have left me breathless, whimpering and occasionally licking the walls for comfort. A trickle of jam and dread just went down my spine, Henry. I’ve just realised I’m going to have to MEET YOU all in MAY! AAAAAAAAAAARGH!

Have to admit, I’m loving your mad ideas, from chicken onesies to zig-zaggy hair, to soggy iPhones to naked luck.

It’s made me stop and laugh after a busy day launching Thunderstruck – my brand new book. I launched it wearing my special lightning waistcoat:

unnamed-1.jpg

And my special lightning earrings and pendant:

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In Thunderstruck, Alisha and Theo get struck by lightning and afterwards they can see ghosts. Happily Dougie and Lizzie, who were killed by lightning in the same place in 1976, are quite fun and groovy as ghosts go.

Imagine you met a ghost and got chatting. How would your ghost speak? This week I’d like you to work in groups to come up with some ghost chat. Imagine you’re having a conversation with a ghost from:

  • 1666 (the year of the great Fire of London)    or
  • 1917  (during World War One)    or
  • 1966  (the swinging sixties)    or
  • Medieval England (the time of the legends of King Arthur)

Ask your ghost about their life… and how they died. Just get chatting – and see if you can make them speak correctly for their time, using the right kind of language.  Write down your conversation. You can describe how your ghost looks, too.

Good luck, 5P…

Ali

Here are some brilliant examples ghostly interviews – we especially like the idea of a TV show called ‘Catching up with the Dead‘ and think Saturday night TV is missing a trick!

Well done 5p – we’re looking forward to your next bonkers instalment!!!

Creepy Critters at Goldstone

Inspired by the Creature that appears in Guy Bass’ Stitch Head, the Goldstone crew have been busy creating their very own critters this week…. Oliver from Year 3 took some time to share some thoughts with their adopted author…

Hi, I’m Oliver.

I think your story is awesome. I particularly liked it when the Creature hugged Stitch Head so hard that he couldn’t breathe. My class think The Creature is really funny when he gets so over-excited.

We have enjoyed your creature challenge and are sending you a sample of our creativity.

Look forward to your next reply.

Oliver

a02d-sh-10.jpg

We’re pretty freaked out by some of their creations below!

The creature stopped as seventeen monsters crept out of the shadows and stared at the creature. One of the monsters had razor sharp thorns around its head, two spikey chain saws coming from its hips, a dragon spiked tail, and it sounded like a lion’s growl.

Rosie

The creature was startled as a strange, rounded shaped slobbery creature emerged from the gloomy shadows and slowly stepped towards the corner of the moonlit corridor. As the creature’s slimy, damp wings lit up in the dark, its grey antennae on its head shot out electric waves. She shivered as she shuffled towards the other creatures and Stitch Head.

Hana

The creature paused wearily, its ears twitched. Then there was an ear splitting screech. Suddenly, a blockish shape appeared from the pitch black shadows. First huge tentacles with about a million suckers, then an enormous fiery red eye emerged from the shadows into the moonlit hall, which was riddled with ugly monsters. The fiery eye bulged like it was about to pop out with an explosion. The tentacles made a hissing noise as the creature shed black goo as it went.

“Run!” screamed the Creature. “Monster!”

Felix

Stitch Head froze as he heard an enormous rare echoing through the castle. Suddenly he saw a disgusting looking creature lashing out towards him. It was a reindeer headed monkey with repulsive, hairy spider legs. It spat out a ball of slimy hair and took its eyes out so tentacles came out and wrapped them around Stitch Head. He screamed as the creature opened its enormous mouth and did a mighty roar. “Please don’t eat me,” muttered Stitch Head.

Marlie

Stitch Head froze as he heard a huge thump coming from the corridor. Suddenly Stitch Head saw a weird shaped creature racing towards him. Stitch Head fell as it slithered over to him with its spider legs.

It was a weird, slimy and thin creature, with repulsive hairy spider legs with a soggy brain. It gurgled and spat as it made its way through the corridors.

Polly

Stitch Head became petrified when he saw a spectacular beast approach him. It had a twirled mouse-like tail, the size of a personalised 12 inch rope and millions of mites that looked like they would explode and an MS tattoo on his hip which had a crack through and finally a bull-shaped head. It gurgled and splattered some boogies from its abomination of a nose. Stitch Head ran to the door and looked up and screamed so loud that the chandelier broke and smashed as it hit the floor. The bull-mite-mouse-thing slapped him on the cheek. Stitch Head reached desperately for the door as the creature started to strangle him…

Rory P

From the ceiling of the hallway, an unfamiliar lion like creature emerged from the shadows. It had two huge glaring eyes on each leg, arm and body parts. As it slobbered its poisonous blood, it grew like nothing they had seen before.

Matthew

From the corner of the attic, a huge wolf like shadow slowly crept out. It had triangular pointed ears, pointed teeth that were so sharp they would take a finger off in one bite, and its legs were as thin as pipe cleaners. It growled like a tiger and dripped green, slimy acid from its mouth.

Maisie

From behind an old box, out came an invention that the professor Erasmus had made a year ago. It had one bunny ear and one mouse ear that looked rather odd. It was a short, little stubby rabbit, carrying a carrot and its eyes shone in the moonlight like two glass balls. It was short like a mouse and as white as the moon.

Tori

Well done Year 3 – thanks for the brilliant work! – although this blog post should probably have come with a warning – I hope we don’t suffer from any NIGHTMARES – I think the Bull-Mite-Mouse-Thing might haunt me in my sleep!


 

Romance blossoming in Lizzy Bennet’s world

The girls at Carden Primary have been reading Marcia Williams’ next book (yes, they get TWO!)

The story is inspired by a book called Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen which was written in 1813 (ages ago!) Marcia’s book is written from Lizzy Bennet’s point of view. When Lizzy Bennet’s father gives her a diary, she fancies she will use it to write a novel, as her real life is exceedingly dull. Then the handsome Mr. Bingley moves to nearby Netherfield Park, and suddenly life is every bit as thrilling as a novel would be. Who will he dance with at the Meryton ball? Who is his haughty friend? Will Lizzy ever receive a marriage proposal?

Marcia set the girls a writing task:

Dear Year 6,

I have been rereading Lizzy Bennet’s Diary up to the same page as you, and it strikes me how very difficult Lizzy is to please.  How will she ever find a husband with such high standards?!
I wondered if you could each write a description of the man you would have Lizzy fall for, if you were the author instead of Jane Austen.  Just close your eyes and imagine him walking into the room and Lizzy falling in love!
1.  How does he enter the room, does he stride, shuffle or even trip?  Maybe he is shy and just pokes his head around the door?  Is he dark or fair?  Think about his clothes, his hairstyle, his shoes?  Maybe, he has a scar or a moustache?
2.  Is he clever?  Cold or warm hearted.  Friendly or shy?  Funny or severe?  How does his personality differ from Lizzy’s?
3.  Is he rich and aristocratic or does he come from a modest background? Is he a soldier?  What if any occupation does he have?
4.  What are his likes and dislikes?
5.  What are his strengths and weaknesses?  Maybe he eats too much chocolate – has dozens of dogs – or falls asleep at the table!  Only you know!
These are some of the things you might like to think about when you are writing about him.
I can’t wait to see what you all come up with!
Good luck,
Marcia
And the girls did a great job, they wrote very descriptive pieces detailing the moment the two meet. How romantic! These are two of our faves…

Well done girls and we hope you are looking forward to meeting your author Marcia Williams TOMORROW! So exciting!

Team AAA x

What did you want to be when you grown up?

Phew! It has been all go at AAA HQ, which is why we are adding lots of content to the blog at one time. We are not the only ones though, there has been a flurry of busy-ness too at Stanford Juniors as they have been doing their SATs exams (eek!), but they still had time to send some interesting questions to their author, Ross Montgomery’s way…

Hi Ross,

We have three questions for you this week:

Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?

Do you create books for adults?

As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?

Ross, being a teacher when he isn’t writing,completely understood and in fact, had lots of good luck vibes to send in Stanford Juniors’ way and a very good life lesson at the end:

Hi Year 6s,

 
I hear you’re busy working on your SATs exams this week – good luck!! In the meantime, here are the answers to the questions you sent me:
 
Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?
Being a writer is strange, because you don’t get many opportunities to talk to people who read your books – most of the time you’re by yourself writing them! That’s why hearing from readers is such a treat – I’ve had a few letters sent to me via my publisher, and a few emails through my website, and once I even got a Christmas card!! 
Most of the time they’re just taking the time to say that they liked my books, which is wonderful to hear – although once I got an email from an angry mum who didn’t like my books AT ALL and wanted to make sure I knew about it!

If I could give you guys a tip, it would be to write to your favourite authors – look in the front of their books for their publisher’s address and just send it through them! It does get to them eventually, and there’s a good chance they’ll write back. When I was 10 I even had a correspondence with Terry Deary – of Horrible Histories fame!

Do you create books for adults?

People often ask me if I could write a book for adults, and I’m not sure I could. One of the things I like about writing for children is that there are restrictions in what you can and can’t do – you can’t get TOO scary or TOO rude, though you can certainly try to push it! I like those kind of boundaries – they really help me focus an idea so it doesn’t end up becoming overly ambitious.

As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
Funnily enough, I wanted to be a writer! I just loved the idea of creating stories to entertain and, if possible, transport people. I changed my mind a few times – I wanted to be a cartoonist at first (my mum told me I wasn’t allowed as it didn’t make any money!) and when I was a teenager I wanted to make films, but I always came back to the idea of writing.
If any of you have a passion that you’d love to spend your life following, then start now – whether it’s writing or building or playing netball, you’ll build up a love and understanding of it that will carry you through the rest of your life.
 
Speak soon!
 
Ross
Year 6 will be meeting Ross on Tuesday! This is what he looks like if you don’t know…
RM
How exciting for them!

Three days until 4PA meet Gary Northfield!

It’s been a rollercoaster of a ride for Adopt an Author this year and we have been super busy at HQ preparing for the parties this week, where each class will get to MEET THEIR AUTHOR! Woodingdean Primary has been reading Julius Zebra: Rumble with the Romans! and will meet their author Gary Northfield on Wednesday!

This is Gary trying to eat his own book…

GN JZ

 (Hopefully nobody will eat their copies on Wednesday)

Now, I’m not sure if anyone would dress up, but wouldn’t it be fantastic if 4PA came along with gladiator inspired outfits!!! #TeamJulius

See you Wednesday Woodingdean!

Team AAA x

Woodingdean, Stanford Juniors, Patcham Juniors and Carden Primary say a ginormous ‘GOOD DAY’ to you!

Its the first week of the project and each class have received their first emails from their authors!

Woodingdean have said ‘ALOHA! to their author Gary Northfield…

Hello!

I’ve been zipping around the country the last few weeks, telling everybody about Julius Zebra, reading from the book and showing them how I draw Julius. The jokes were brilliant lots of school children from all over the country told their favourite jokes.

Here’s one of the winners:

Knock knock!
Who’s There?
Interrupting cow!
Interrupting co…
MOOOOO!!!!!!!

ANYWAY! Who wants to learn how to draw JULIUS ZEBRA? Good!
When I draw my cartoon characters, I find it much easier to draw them by breaking up the character up into easy, manageable shapes. This way, it doesn’t seem very hard to draw at all. I’ve attached a worksheet which shows you how to draw Julius ready to fight as a gladiator!

aaaaaaand here are class 4PA drawing away and look at the results! Gary might have a team of illustrators on his hands..

 
drawing julius

IMG_5456  IMG_5446 IMG_5443 IMG_5463

you all in 4PA should be proud of yourselves, Julius has never looked finer!

 

Author Sarah Lean has cried a humongous ‘HIYA!’ to her class at Patcham Juniors…

A CONVERSATION WITH A DOG

When Harry was a puppy, I trained him to sit quietly in a basket on my bike. He also used to jump up on my seat where I had been writing when I went to make a cup of tea. I often pretended that he was talking to me and had something to say.
Dog

What do you imagine Harry might be saying in these photographs?

Ross Montgomery,  a tremendous WAVE to his class at Stanford Juniors from little old London…

Hi everyone!

I’m very excited to be sending you the first of my weekly emails. Mr Persaud tells me that you’re going to be working hard to send me some excellent pieces of writing and insightful questions! In return, I’ll do my best to come up with some fun activities to help you with your own writing, and on the way I’ll try not to mispeeell any wodrs.
 
By now, I’m sure you’ll have read some of my new book PERIJEE & ME. It was only published last Thursday, so you lucky lot have had a head-start on the rest of the country! 
 
In order to help the reader visualise Perijee, I used two SIMILES to describe him – can you find them? Why do you think I compared Perijee to these things – what do you think is the point of using similes? 
 
REMEMBER: if your alien is scary, then you should compare it to things that are scary!
 
GOOD EXAMPLE: The alien’s eyes were as red as erupting volcanoes.
BAD EXAMPLE: The alien’s eyes were as red as nice juicy tomatoes.

 

Marcia Williams has shouted a gigantic ‘GREETINGS’! to Carden Primary and have a few questions for Marcia to answer on her return from Dubai (sneak peak below)…

Georgie

Who is your favourite female author and why?

Scarlett

If you could go back in time and meet 5 famous historical characters who would you pick and why?

Maddie

When you go to libraries or book shops are you ever tempted to move your books so everyone can

see them?

Hoorain

Are you a Harry Potter fan?

Emma

Did you like history at school? If not, what inspired you to write/illustrate historical books?

Seleyna

Who is your favourite woman through history and why?

Nahima

What encouraged you to become an author/illustrator and why?

Amy

Who is your least favourite historical character and why?

Eva

If you were stranded on a desert island and only had two historical people for company who would

you choose and why?

 

Summer J

Do you still keep a diary? If so, what do you write about?

A big, warm welcome…

Authors announced

From left to right: Sarah Lean, Ross Montgomery, Marcia Williams and Gary Northfield

2016 welcomes Sarah Lean, Ross Montgomery, Gary Northfield and returning for a second year, Marcia Williams to this year’s Adopt an Author.

The project is being brought to you by Collected Works CIC and is an exciting schools initiative which links classes with children’s authors to promote literacy, encourage writing and develop creativity.

Over a course of 8 weeks, classes and their adopted authors correspond via very fun and entertaining emails and the project culminates in a ‘Meet your Author’ party during Brighton Festival (7-29 May).

We are very proud to be producing it once again and to have such an exciting group of authors on board. Stay tuned for our future updates!

 

The ‘AAA’ team x