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Pupils from nine local schools plus Trent College and its junior school The Elms got into the Halloween spirit as author, Jonathan Stroud, regaled spooky tales from his latest ghostly children’s book, The Creeping Shadow, on Wednesday (12 October).
As part of a book tour to celebrate the publication of his fourth book in the Lockwood & Co series, Mr Stroud visited Trent College and fascinated the young audience as he talked about how he started writing books and even got a brave student to dress up in the Lockwood & Co ghost hunting kit. He also read an extract from the first book in the series, The Screaming Staircase, before ending the afternoon with a Q&A and book signing.
The series follows the adventures of three eager ghost-hunters at London’s smallest psychic investigations agency, Lockwood & Co. Together the trio investigate some of the spookiest and deadliest spectral hauntings in the city, armed only with the tools of the ghost-hunting trade, their courage and a thermos of tea.
Claire Scothern, Head of Library Services at Trent College, organised the visit in partnership with Authors Aloud UK. She commented that all the pupils left inspired in their own reading and writing.
Miss Scothern said: “Jonathan’s talk was fantastic. He started by playing a spooky trailer to get everyone into the spirit and after the talk spent a lot of time chatting to the children as he was signing books for them. We’ve had a lot of feedback from the visiting schools, saying how much their pupils thoroughly enjoyed themselves and came away very inspired to read and write. It was a real pleasure to see so many of them here at Trent College.”
As well as Trent College and The Elms students, the school welcomed pupils from Brooklands, Grange, Dovedale and Firfield primary schools, Harrington Junior School, West Park School, Wilsthorpe Community School, Derby High School and Nottingham Girls’ High School to the 'Afternoon with an Author'.
Jonathan Stroud’s visit kicked off a packed school year of library activities at Trent College, aimed at encouraging children to read, write and explore their imaginations. In November, award-winning young people’s author, Sarah Mussi will be giving a talk to the school’s Year 7 and 8 students before leading workshops on related writing tasks, while Harry Potter Book Night takes place on Thursday 2 February.
Then, following the shortlisting of the books for the prestigious 2017 CILIP Carnegie Medal in March, Trent students will take part in official ‘shadowing’ of the judging process - reading, discussing and reviewing the shortlisted books and engaging in reading-related activity online ahead of the winners announcement on 19 June.
Lockwood & Co has been winning over readers and customers in their thousands and the series has been shortlisted for more than 20 awards. Jonathan Stroud is a much-loved author and his Bartimaeus sequence has been translated into 35 languages and sold over six million copies worldwide.