Category Archives: Writing

Tuptown Tower Tales

It’s Pigsticks and Harold time and Benfield posed some interesting questions to their adopted author Alex Milway!

Dear Geckos and Iguanas!

Hello again! And yes, Hololo is Pigsticks! Well done 🙂
Here are some answers to your questions:
1. When are you making another book and when can we expect it in the shops
I’m currently working on a book called Hotel Flamingo, and it will be out next Spring.
2. Do you draw all of the pictures in Pigsticks and Harold yourself?
Yes! I do all the pictures. Though I think some of you are easily good enough to help me now!
3. Your life sounds so exciting – when and where are you going away next?
HA! it’s not so exciting, although I must admit to never imagining my work would take me around the world. My next trip away is to sunny Brighton to see all of you, I think!
4. Did you always want to be an author when you were growing up?
No! Not at all. I first wanted to be a footballer. Then I wanted to be a musician. Then I wanted to be an artist. Then I wanted to animate and make cartoons. Only then did I realise writing children’s books was the perfect job for me. (And I still want to be all the other things, by the way… I still paint. I still make music, and I still love cartoons and animation.)
And for this week’s task!
I’ve attached a Pigsticks spread, which is illustrated, but lacks words! So here’s what I’d love you to do. Have a look at the picture and write a short description of the scene alongside. You could try writing this as a page of a Pigsticks story, if you’d like, building a story around this picture.
Some things to think consider: why might all the people of Tuptown be standing in a tower next to a tall building? What is Pigsticks saying to them? And why isn’t Harold there – where might he be?
You can be as silly as you like, I know I always try and think of the silliest reasons for things happening in Pigsticks’ world.
Thanks!

Benfield have been busy creating some super stories to accompany Alex’s illustration

 

We love these! Especially Harold eating cake – as we’re all partial to a bit of cake here at Team AAA!

Well done – super work Benfield!

Team AAA
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Beetle Bard’s!

The Stanford Beetle Brigade have been busy! Let’s have a look at what they’ve been up to…

Dear Stanford Beetle Brigade,

Now it is time for you to get thinking about TASK THREE!

This is a wordy challenge. Using your research and beetle designs, I would like you to think up a poem or short story about your beetle. It can be funny, disgusting or dramatic. There is no right or wrong, although if you’re not having fun you should perhaps trying doing it a different way. I howl with laughter when I write the Pickering and Humphrey bits.

Good luck! And remember if you get stuff for inspiration look at your research and the wonderful facts you found out about beetles.

Wow! What amazing bunch of beetle bard’s the brigade are! Well done – some really fantastic poems – well researched, creative and fun!

Team AAA x

 

Fishy goings on at Carden Primary

Hmmmmm….there’s something fishy about Carden’s third task this week…..read on to see what Imogen set her team…

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Solve your own local mystery!

As you know, I like to use elements of local history in my creative writing, but I also like to call them local mysteries… For today’s task, I have found a Local Mystery that needs your help to solve.

The Case of the Missing Lumpfish

Some aspects of this mystery are true, and others are made up. I want your investigation into this episode to be full of imagination and clue solving – and to be as creative and inventive as you like!

Our mystery is set in the Brighton Aquarium. Hopefully many of you have been lucky enough to visit this incredible place already. It was built in the Victorian age by the same architect who designed Brighton’s West Pier, (which features in The Amber Pendant,) and to this day, it’s still full of all the old-fashioned tanks that were used when it opened. I love the aquarium – I think its brimming with atmosphere, and a great place to set our mystery!

When the Brighton Aquarium was opened in 1872, many exotic species of sea life were acquired from across the globe – they even had a dolphin at one point. However, not all of them were suitable to be kept in captivity, and many of them sadly died. But people were so fascinated by these creatures of the deep that they would travel from far and wide to see these animals for themselves.

But in May 1873 something very strange happened: A number of fish started to go missing… And, weirder still, the room they were going missing from was always locked and sealed. No one could work out who could have stolen them – or how they could have got the missing creatures in or out.

MakingThe Case of the Missing Lumpfish a locked room mystery…

(By the way, ‘A Locked Room Mystery,” is a crime committed that is really hard to work out how the criminal got in, as the doors were locked, or how they could do it without being detected.)

Now, some of you may already know who was responsible (as this event really did happen!) but I want you to keep the answer to yourselves. This task isn’t really about getting it right, it’s about inventing the most interesting motives. I want you to think up the details behind this mystery: who or what stole the fish, and why they might have taken them…

As I mentioned before, not all my facts are a hundred percent true. Just like my books, I take something from local history and use it as inspiration for my stories, and I’d like you to do the same.

Your task today is to:

Solve the Case of the Missing Lumpfish…

The Victims

The Lumpfish of Brighton Aquarium:

“Lumpsuckers or lumpfish are mostly small marine fish. They are found in the cold waters of the Arctic, North Atlantic, and North Pacific oceans.” (Wikipedia)

I’ve drawn you a picture of a lumpfish! They look a bit like this.

(For the purpose of our mystery, Team Carden, the particular variety of Lumpfish stolen from the Aquarium are extremely rare and valuable…)

The Crime Scene

A locked room inside the Brighton Aquarium.

All the entrances to the aquarium were locked each night and the fish counted. But, each and every night, a number of these lumpfish kept disappearing. The only clue was a trail of water across the floor that trickled into the drain. (The drain led to an underground sewer system, leading to the sea. But is big enough for someone, or something to crawl through.)

The Task:

For this task, you are the detective in charge of the investigation.

Step One: Choose a suspect

I need you, firstly, to work out who or what stole these fish. I have put together a list of suspects who might be behind our crime.

The Suspects:

Milly Mayforth: twelve-year-old child genius and animal rights activist. She had recently been moved on from outside the Aquarium holding a handmade sign reading, ‘Sea Creatures belong in the Sea, not in tanks!”

Mr Brown:Local Fish and Chips Restaurant Owner. Who had a passion for frying up more exotic varieties of sea life.

Miss Lucile Lovegood:International collector of unusual and rare sea creatures. Who had recently been turned down on her offer to buy some of the Aquariums Lumpfish for her private collection.

Billie Buster:Chief tank cleaner and local gangster. He had the keys to the room.

Or, perhaps, it was one of the creatures contained in the tanks surrounding the Lumpfish:

The Lobster

The Octopus

The Large Sea Turtle

Or, anyone or anything else you can think of! I don’t mind if you introduce a Sewer Monster or something! Anything you like!

Step Two:

Now you have your suspect(s), you need to work out what their motive might have been. What did they want the lumpfish for – and why?

Step Three:

How did your suspect(s) carry out the crime? And what did they want the fish for? Consider the evidence again: the room was locked, and all of the fish counted each night. How did your suspect(s) get in? Were they helped by anyone? What is the significance of the water on the floor?

(If you have time, write your detective deductions out in a paragraph summarizing how you worked it out!)

GOOD LUCK TEAM CARDEN PRIMARY!

I can’t wait to hear how you go about solving this local mystery. Who you put in the frame, why they did it and how!

 

WHALE obviously Team Carden really took the oppor-TUNA-ty and to show of their BRILL-iant detective GILLS. (sorry) Have a looks at their fantastic work here and why not have a go at seeing if you can solve the FISHtery yourselves!

 

So how did you all get on? I have to say us at AAA HQ were flummoxed!

Fortunately Imogen didn’t leave us with the mystery unsolved…. read on if you want to find out what happened….

The True Suspect of the 1873 Case of the Missing Lumpfish was… (Open envelope…)

Answer: The Octopus! (All the other suspects were made up!)

Octopuses are highly intelligent and clever creatures. The one they have in the aquarium nowadays is given Lego blocks and a rocking horse to play with to keep him entertained!

Octopuses can breathe and move out of water for short periods of time and they have the ability to camouflage themselves into their environment – their very own cloak of invisibility. They can also crawl through tiny spaces and squirt out ink – a super villain indeed!

(They also happen to be one of my favourite creatures.)

The octopus in question was a new resident in the room at the aquarium. Each night, under cloak of darkness, he would slip free from his tank and dine on the delicious lumpfish. But by morning, before daybreak, he’d have slunk back inside to his tank looking totally innocent. No one suspected him at all – or realised he could survive out of water and leave his tank. It was only when a worker at the aquarium turned up earlier than usual and caught the octopus red handed inside the lumpfish’s tank that the mystery was finally solved!

So, the water trail in the room was him crawling around.

The suspect’s motive: because he was hungry. And the reason the octopus snuck back each night was because octopuses are nocturnal, so their natural behaviour is to hunt by night, returning to their lairs during the hours of daylight to sleep! So, after all that, the octopus was just behaving normally…

Case solved! I bet your versions of this event are even crazier, and I can’t wait to hear them.

If you are interested in finding out more about the real event, you can find an account here:http://thegentlemanangler.com/fish-species/disappearing-lump-fish-2/1339/

What an amazing task – the Carden really loved this one! We can’t wait for the next instalment!

Team AAA
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Mile Oak’s Creative Characters!

Year 6 Mile Oak are a very inquisitive and a very talented bunch of adoptee’s! They are all really enjoying Wild boy and had some fantastic questions for Rob Lloyd Jones…..

Why did you chose to set it in the Victorian times? (Fahimur)

Because that’s when freak shows really did exist – they were banned in 1851, so I needed the story to happen before that date

Where did you get your character ideas from? (Julia)

Mostly history books! Wild Boy is based on several real life characters!

How did you come up with the idea of Wild Boy? (Alfie M and Charlie)
What is your inspiration for the book? (Daria and Fahim) 

I was inspired by history, my love of London and also my love of detective stories – especially Sherlock Holmes!

Why a hairy boy? (Donnie and Luke )
How did you get the idea of Wild Boy and his features? (Daniel) 

It’s a real disease called hypertrichosis – which many freak show performers did actually have. It seemed right for the character.

Where did you get the name Wild Boy from? (Luca and Rachel ) 

I can’t remember – sometimes names just pop into your head! It seemed like a good one when I first thought of it, and it just stuck.

Why did you make Sir Oswald have no legs? I like that you did this because it is not cliche. (Leo) 

He’s a survivor of a famous battle called the Battle of Waterloo, and was hit by a cannon and lost his legs.

Very descriptive and interesting, suspense is displayed amazingly especially with the cloud, as it seems like a snake or creature going around the town. (Fahimur) 

Thank you! I’m glad you like it so far!

I like the way you used short sentences because it builds a lot of suspense and interest (Julia)

YES, well spotted! It’s good to mix sentence length – short and long, so they’re not all the same.

I like the description of the fog rolling into the city. (Leo) 

Thank you Leo!

I like the fact that Wild Boy can read people and say what happened in their life. (Daniel) 

Great! I hope you enjoy the rest of the story…

I am enjoying the book so far because it has kept me on edge and the suspense was really cold through: suspense, metaphors, gruesome descriptions, personification and short sentences. (Kai)

That’s great Kai, thank you. It was important to work on this details very hard to get them right.

I think the book is fantastic and it is so mysterious e.g the workhouse mystery. Sofia 

Thanks Sofia!

I like how you made it sound creepy to build suspense. It’s an incredible book because it has so much description. (Harry) 

Thanks Harry!!

It is exciting and extremely enjoyable. I really like that Wild Boy and Oswald have a connection. I am very connected and pulled in by the book. (Seb) 

Thank you Seb! Hope you enjoy the rest of the story…

I like the way you used short sentences and personification. I like how you slowly started to describe Wild Boy. (Maia) 

Yes, thanks Maia – I needed to introduce him slowly to the readers, so it’s not too much in one go.

You created amazing suspense and excitement by putting short sentences, alliteration, description and personification. I loved every single bit right down to the letter because of how you build up the descriptions. (Fahim) 

Thanks Fahim! Really hope you enjoy the rest of the story!

 

Last week Rob asked the class to create their very own characters…
These characters are amazing – love the drawings too! We could imagine all of them appearing in published books! Fantastic work Year 6 Mile Oak!
Team AAA
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Carden’s BADDIES! *READ AT YOUR OWN RISK*

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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.
BRILLIANT work!

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, 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! 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, 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!

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.

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!

‘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!

‘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!

‘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 – 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, 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
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!
image1.jpeg
 
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
Ross
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

Roll up, roll up! All the fear of the Carnival!

We left Goldstone last week with the promise of an excellent next task and Year 3 certainly did not disappoint! Shall we see what they have been up to??? Guy set them a creepy carnival challenge…

So, as you know, Fulbert Freakfinder is desperate to recruit Stitch Head as the star of his Carnival of Unnatural Wonders. He goes to great lengths to convince Stitch Head he could be a star, including creating a poster, featuring Stitch Head as the main attraction.

I want you to create your own poster for Fulbert Freakfinder’s Carnival of Unnatural Wonders. It can feature Stitch Head and / or Doctor Contortion, Madame Moustache and the Topsy Turvy Twins OR your very own uniquely freakish attraction / character / star of the show, to pull in hordes of punters! Your job is to make the carnival look as exciting as possible, so that Freakfinder gets loads of visitors and doesn’t go out of business…

Good luck! Can’t wait to see your posters.

Speak soon, and, as if I need to say it, Have yourselves a DiNGLE DANGLE…

Guy
What monstrous, unnatural beings might Year 3 have created? They explored the depths of their imaginations and set about creating some grotesque creatures – the stuff of nightmares!!! Dare we have a look…….
Hi Guy,

I’m Emily and I’m very pleased to be writing to you.

I really liked your challenge and I think it was very competitive. I thought about Fulbert and how horrible he was, so I drew him with a duck body. I renamed him Duckbert. Thinking about it makes me laugh.

I have found the story very funny and when we’ve acted it out, I have played the part of the Creature. Mr Lessel’s thought my performance was very funny because of the voice that I used. I was madder than Professor Erasmus.

Hope Chapter 14 is even better.

Emily

DUCKBERT! We love it! That’s seriously funny Emily, we’re in STITCHES!
 
Guy was suitably impressed and a little FREAKED OUT!

Emily … Creations of Year 3 … brave souls of Chuggers Nubbin – Roll up, roll up!

Thanks for your incredible posters – I had a whale of a time inspecting them in all their gruesomely grotesque glory. I loved how much variety there was in terms of composition and content – especially the new characters you threw in there. Some of my freakish favourites were:

THE GYMNASTIC KITTENS!

MR MOHAWK! (He will mess your trousers until they come off)
THE HIDEOUS MR BONE! (He could bite your guts out)
THE SPLITTING SKULL! (It will mess you up for life)
THE TERRIFYING THREE ARMED CREATURE THAT IS THE SIZE OF A BEAR!

And, possibly most nonsensically nightmarish of them all…

FOOT BODY!

(On a side note, Stitch Head began almost-life as an idea called An Arm and a Leg. One of the two main characters, Leg, had a foot for a body! More on that later…)

Sounds to me like the greatest show on Earth! So, “Roll up! Roll up! We’ll make you crack up!” “Come to Brighton for a trouser messing show!” “You’ll never forget your panic!” “Just one penny a peek!”

After all, as Cousin Bob puts it, it’s “Really really really really really really really really really really really really COOL!”

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!

Cheers,

Guy
P.S. Have yourselves a DINGLE DANGLE!
We can’t wait to see what Year 3 concoct! Until next time!
Team AAA x

Dingle Dangle Diaries!

Goldstone’s adoptive author Guy Bass has welcomed Year 3 back and it’s evident that he LOVES a pun – (well who doesn’t?!)

Here’s hopping you all and Year 3 had a cracking break filled with egg-ceptional egg-citement.

Guy and Year 3 have been exchanging some lovely emails and creating some fantastic work over the last few weeks…

Dear Guy,

My name is Logan from Year 3. We think your story is brilliant when Fulbert Freakfinder gets pushed off the ladder. We could picture him in our minds hanging upside down by his pants, it was hilarious. I am looking forward to meeting you in May. I especially enjoy your challenges and me and my friends work has been selected to send to you this week, so I hope you enjoy reading it.

Have a dingle dangle.

Logan

Here’s a pic of Logan and his three pals, one as you can see has a brilliant mind! Logan wrote a lovely email to Guy. As you remember they’ve been reading Stitch Head and it sounds as though they’re loving it!

The creators.JPG
Guy had set the class a fantastic challenge…

What I’d like you to do is come up with an extract from the young Professor Erasmus’s diary from back when he was a child. Erasmus has gathered leftovers from his father’s experiments and is about to bring his first creation to almost-life. Here are some things to think about:

– How is the young Erasmus feeling before he awakens Stitch Head?
– What does he think about his first creation? Is he happy with how Stitch Head     turned out, or was he hoping for more impressive ‘parts’? Was Erasmus lonely     and looking to make a friend or did he want to make a terrifying monster? Or     maybe he wanted to be just like his dad, Professor Erasmus Senior?
– What time of day or night is it?
– Does Erasmus bring Stitch Head to almost-life in secret or does Professor              Erasmus Senior know about it?
– How does Erasmus awaken Stitch Head? What potions and equipment does he   use?

 

We loved delving into these diaries and Guy did too…

Thanks again for sending me your fantastic writing. I was really impressed with the way you brought the scenes to life (as young Erasmus brought Stitch Head to almost-life) and the imagination that went into work.

Holly, Milo, Scarlett and Poppy, I enjoyed how your diary entries gave a sense of the passing of time, especially when Erasmus realised how long it would take to make his creation. I also loved the idea of the dawn light “creeping along the corridor” as if it wasn’t to be trusted…
Felix, “forever glue” is my new favourite bonding agent! I love your writing, especially Stitch Head’s batty behaviour when he’s first awakened. Stitch Head yanking on Erasmus’s hair “like he was taking a strawberry plant out of the ground” is a wonderfully absurd simile. And it was great to see Erasmus getting the better of Stitch Head in the “gobbling a plate of worms first” (!) game by tricking him – it’s a clever way to make you wonder why Erasmus made his creation in the first place.
Sonny and Sam, what a tragic tale! The passing of time here is a nice way to make Erasmus’s separation from Stitch Head all the more heartbreaking – especially as he’s made to feel ashamed for creating him in the first place. It’s a far cry from the touching line, “He looks a bit ugly I suppose … but I love him all the same”. Nice one.
Ben, Hana and Lucas, My favourite part of your writing was how you evoked the moment of awakening after a tense set-up. “As I pumped air being into its mouth, its stomach started rising up and down” paints a great picture. And the idea of Stitch Head wriggling into life is a line I wish I’d thought of myself!
Emily and Mercy, I really enjoyed how you explored the mixed emotions Erasmus felt about telling his dad about his creation. He’s desperate for his father to be proud of him, but still he skulks around and hopes not to wake him … and even after he brings his creation to almost-life he still dares not tell him. This is fascinating and makes the reader wonder why Erasmus is so conflicted. A lovely example of “Show, don’t tell”, which is good advice for any writer. Well done.
Emily Lucy and Marlie, This is a fantastic line: “Finally, I found essence of nightshade, lava and air freshener.” Because any new creation needs to smell fresh! Wonderful. I also loved the idea that Stitch Head was sewn together with fabric from his dad’s pants!
Arthur, Joe, Logan and Rory, your piece was short and to the point, and I think it had my favourite line of all: “I sneakily took some eyeballs from the eyeball cupboard” This single line says so much about the world of the castle. Great work!
We’ve had a sneak preview into the next challenge and we CAN’T WAIT to see the creations – all we’ll say is that it….. NO WE COULDN’T POSSIBLY, you’ll just have to check back next week!!!
Team AAA x

BIG STORY START MOMENT!

Welcome back after the break! Was the Easter bunny kind? Did we all eat a teeny tiny bit too much chocolate?! We hope you’re looking forward to the summer term -we’re all very excited to hear what our adoptees have been up to! So let’s head over to Carden to find out….

A few weeks ago adopted author Rob Llyod Jones asked Year 6 to think about their characters normal life and then to think of a THING that could happen that would thrust their character into a story!

It’s safe to say Year 6 fully embraced this task! We’ve picked a few of our favourites to share with you and Rob had some great feedback too.

Hello all,

Again I really enjoyed reading about all the events that start your exciting stories. I really liked how many of you described your character’s ‘normal life’ before the event that throws him or her OUT of their normal lives and INTO the adventure. Many of you begin by saying your character is living that ‘normal life’ and then use words like these: ‘But then…’, ‘But one day…’ ‘or Then suddenly…’ That’s perfect! Most stories go exactly like this:

Once upon a time there was a (CHARACTER)
Every day he/she (NORMAL LIFE)
Until one day (BIG STORY START MOMENT)
Because of that (THE REST OF THE STORY!)

FEEDBACK:

Aurittri
Great Aurittri! I can’t think of many better story starts than a bullied schoolgirl discovering a secret dragon! What happens next, I wonder?

Hailey
I enjoyed reading about Loliea, Hailey – and liked that you used the words ‘Just then’ in your paragraph. That’s what all stories are about : things happening.

Tayla
Puggi is a fun character Taylor! I think you’ve got a GREAT story starting moment here, as Puggi meets a puggicorn and swaps identities! Perfect!

Connor
PERFECT Connor! Stevie Wellard is a fun character, and you’ve given him a really clear and interesting ‘story start moment’ when he finds a portal in the loo!

Max
I like that you begin by describing ‘Thats what he did everyday’, Max. That’s how stories begin, then they tell us what happened to change all of that – and you have your character being hit by a car! That’s great, now the story has REALLY got going!

Humayra:
Kate is a fun character, Humayra –with the power to control the weather! Is the big event that gets the story going that she loses this power? That is an interesting twist on a usual superhero story! A superhero becomes normal, rather than someone normal becomes a superhero.

Carden you clever lot! The THINGS that happened to your characters have really captured Rob’s and Team AAA’s imaginations! Coming up Rob has a brilliant task for you guys, so until next time….!

Team AAA x