POPPY WARRIOR LEADS THE WAY!

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After the delights of Hexham, Kath and I made our way out to Humberside to visit two lovely Delta schools, Estcourt  and Willows Primary Academies.

It was our second visit to Estcourt in Hull, and it turned out to be just as successful as the first. Our ‘Estcourt fans’ were ready to move on from Mokee Joe and hear about our new book – Poppy Warrior. To say they embraced the new story would be a gross understatement!  The somewhat emotional presentation, themed on WW1, went down a storm and the next day we could hardly keep pace with the queue of customers waiting to acquire a signed book and poster.

It was our first visit to The Willows Academy (on the other side of the Humber Bridge in Grimsby). They had already purchased a substantial supply of Mokee Joe books and it just needed me to do my stuff and inspire  the KS2 audience to pick up the books and read them! No problem! After dressing up as the infamous MJ and chasing a brave soul around the school hall, the excitement built rapidly, and by the end of the morning the pupils were hooked! Since the visit we’ve had great feedback from Ms Beckett, the head teacher, and it seems the children are getting their hands on the books left, right and centre!

 Serious competition from Willows   Academy.

It was back to my home town of Rotherham and away to visit our great friends at St Gerard’s RC and a little further afield to The Willows Academy (yes…another one!) close to Doncaster. The new book, Poppy Warrior, went down a storm at both schools and the subsequent signings were amazing. Our good friend, Mr Drury, organised everything brilliantly and somehow managed to get 70 + pupils into his classroom to enjoy a very intimate story-telling session that had the audience on the edge of their seats (even though most of them were sitting on the floor!)

It was the same at The Willows Primary…a fab experience, made even more interesting, by learning that a great many pupils had entered a spooky story writing competition inspired by our last visit. Mrs Kirsopp did a wonderful job in organising everything and was overjoyed by the standard of the KS2 writers!  One entry was so good I was convinced it had been copied from the internet  – far too high a standard for a Year 6! But no…it turned out that Liv, the girl in question, is a gifted writer and it was a real pleasure to meet her and have a chat about her literary talent.  Other entries were also of a very high standard, showing great imagination and writing ability.  No wonder the staff appeared so excited!

Well Kath and I have been really inspired by our first half-term school visits and next week we plan to have our half term break and a rest. Half term varies slightly depending on the location; the week after next we are working in Luton at two of our favourite schools, Denbigh High School and Chiltern Academy…already great fans, and I know they are going to love the new book!

PJM

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