Category Archives: Cardinal Newman

The Meet Up

Year Nine at Cardinal Newman finally got to meet their adopted author Patrice Lawrence! From their letters, it was obvious there was increasing excitement about their planned meeting as the weeks went by. Screen Shot 2019-07-02 at 13.29.24

The party was no disappointment. The class and Patrice started things off with an impressive amount of takeaway pizza, and then Patrice gave a talk about how and why she became a writer.

It was so fascinating to hear all about her roots, and about how she felt when she was the same age as her Adopters. A particularly highlight was when Patrice read from her teenage diary!

Patrice also signed all Year Nine’s copies of “Orange Boy”.

At the end of the afternoon, Year Nine presented Patrice with a card to say thank you for all her wonderful letters:

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We’ve loved reading all of your letters too. Thank you for being a part of Adopt an Author 2019, CNCS!

Team AAA xx

A Last Letter to Patrice Lawrence

For their final letter to Patrice, 9EF seem to be getting rather impatient to meet her at long last:

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Its so lovely that the class is heading to the library to try and find some of the books that Patrice recommended last week. It sounds as though their weekly emails back and forth with Patrice might have inspired a lot more reading!

Not long until 9EF and Patrice meet for the first time. We’re so excited to introduce them.

Team AAA xx


Recommended Reading!

Letter writing continues apace at Cardinal Newman. This week, 9EF responded to Patrice’s challenge….recommending her some new books to read!

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We particularly enjoyed Tom’s question about Patrice’s geography in Orange Boy! Here is Patrice’s response:

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So, the geography in Orange Boy does work! It’s great to hear that Patrice’s readers interrogate her books though, especially when we learn from her letters about all the research that goes into them…all that background work is being appreciated!

Good luck with your reading, 9EF!

Team AAA xx


Reasons for Reading…

At the end of her last letter, Patrice tasked 9EF with thinking about their reasons for reading. What would make them choose a book from the shelves? 9EF sent this letter back the very next day:

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Its clear from their letter that 9EF have lots of different reasons for reading, and very different tastes. Between them, they would run the full gamut of any library! Patrice wrote this in reply:

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Patrice is clearly a big reader too!

If you would like to read the Lord of the Rings article Patrice mentioned, please click here.

Are there any books that you think could be adapted into a brilliant film? Or any that you think would be terrible?!

Team AAA x

Inspirations, Ideas & Authenticity!

Letter-writing continues between Year Nine at Cardinal Newman, and their adopted author Patrice Lawrence. Patrice’s book “Orange Boy” is keeping the class busy! Its interesting to hear which bits of the novel seem to fire up the most heated discussion, as the weeks go by:

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Patrice wrote back with this missive:

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There was so much in Patrice’s letter! It was interesting to hear that she builds greater authenticity for her characters by reading non-fiction, and that the idea for Marlon having drugs planted on him came from talking to friends who work in different professions.

We’re looking forward to next week already….where we hope to be finding out all about 9EF’s reasons for reading! Characters? Plots? Genre? What is the first thing about a book that grabs their attention and makes them want to keep turning pages?

Team AAA xx


Food for Thought

This week, 9EF’s dispatch did not disappoint! It’s lovely to read that so many students are contributing to the weekly letters, and they certainly kept Patrice busy with lots more questions about her recent trip to Hong Kong. There were a real spectrum of queries…ranging from the food she may have sampled, to how Patrice might have set her hair on fire!

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Patrice wrote back:

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Patrice’s letter back was full of detail about the food she was able to try in Hong Kong. She also gave us some clues as to why food seems to crop up in a lot of her writing.  It was so interesting to read how Patrice sometimes uses real life inspiration to develop her work. Do you ever borrow facts and histories from your family and friends, to help your creative writing? Let us know!

Next week, we’ll find out if 9EF skip ahead to page 249 to discover Sharkie’s name, or if they’re patient enough to wait until it is revealed!

Team AAA xx




This week over at Cardinal Newman, Year Nine had some questions for their adopted author Patrice Lawrence.  They had seen a recent video she posted, about how authors approach ‘Connecting To Character’.

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If you were interested in the video that Year Nine mentioned in their letter, you can click here!

In reply, Patrice sent this photograph from her trip!

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It has been so interesting to read all about some of Patrice’s influences; she mentions quite a few films and novels by other writers in her letter. Along with some more detail about her travels, and the less glamorous side to being a jet-setting author!

Team AAA xx


Cardinal Newman meets ORANGE BOY!

Our first ever secondary school to take part in Adopt an Author is Cardinal Newman Secondary School- and they are adopting Patrice Lawrence along with her book “Orange Boy”.

9EF got things started with this lovely letter, with lots of different questions for Patrice about her characters, and the story so far.

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Here’s Patrice’s answers- written on World Book Day. They’re full of detail, we hope you enjoy reading them as much as we did!

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We’re really interested in how this conversation has already started getting to the root of how Patrice started writing her book….and about some of her research behind it. ‘Hypothalamus’- what a great new word! I wonder if we can all try and casually use it in a sentence this week…

Can’t wait to see how your letters unfold!

Team AAA

Adopt An Author 2019

FLASH NEWS: Authors are being adopted! Four classes, from four different schools around the city, will once again be adopting authors for the much-anticipated return of the Adopt an Author project!




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We’re thrilled that Alex Milway will once again be joining us! This year, Year Two at Benfield Primary will be adopting him and his book Pigsticks & Harold and The Incredible Journey! Pigsticks & Harold set off to the Ends of The Earth, armed with only a sense of adventure and cake!



Year Six at Carden Primary will be reading Mold and the Poison Plot, and adopting Lorraine Gregory. Its an exciting, fast paced story about a boy with a big heart and a nose to match!



Over at Brunswick Primary, Year Four will be paired with Jennifer Killick, and tucking in to her book Alex Sparrow & the Really Big Stink. Alex Sparrow is a very funny book,  about a super-agent in training!



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Patrice Lawrence is being adopted by Year Nine at Cardinal Newman Catholic School– who will be reading her award-winning book Orange Boy, about sixteen year old Marlon, a boy with an impossible choice to make.


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 the course of 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 – ‘do you get tired when you write chapter books?’ and (a favourite from last year) ‘How do you stay looking so young?’

As ever, you can read all the AAA updates here on this blog… so don’t forget to subscribe for weekly updates. We’ll be sharing all the letters between the authors and the classes. Watch this space!