Author, screenwriter and novelist, Frank Cottrell-Boyce, recently paid a visit and gave a presentation to a group of Year 6 pupils, from the local primary schools, and Year 7 pupils about his writing, his style and the inspiration for his ideas.
Frank Cottrell Boyce, author of Millions and Framed, in his latest novel, Cosmic, brings us a funny and touching story of the many ways in which grown-upness is truly wasted on grown-ups. Liam is too big for his boots, and his football strip, and his school blazer. But being super-sized height-wise has its advantages: he's the only eleven-year-old to ever ride the G-force defying Cosmic rollercoaster - or be offered the chance to drive a Porsche.
One pupil said: “The author really has a great sense of humour and writes in a way that made me laugh out loud. The main character Liam is easy to relate to even though it is not likely that a twelve year old boy can pose as an adult and get launched into space on a crazy mission, I was so absorbed in the story that I believed it could happen! This story is truly cosmic.”
When asked when he first realised that he wanted to be a writer, Cottrell replied: “When I was in year six, I wrote an essay in class that had some jokes in it. The teacher thought it was funny so she read it out to the class.”
“Liam, in Cosmic, has always felt a bit like he's stuck between two worlds. This is primarily because he's a twelve-year-old kid who looks like he's about thirty. Sometimes it's not so bad, like when his new principal mistakes him for a teacher on the first day of school or when he convinces a car dealer to let him take a Porsche out on a test drive. But mostly it's just frustrating, being a kid trapped in an adult world,” explained Ms Diane Keary, Head of Year 7 at Saint Paul’s. “Having a top author enthuse and motivate the pupils about the joy of reading is a fantastic way to encourage reading for pleasure. Meeting an author in real life and hearing them convey their passion for their work can fundamentally alter a young person’s attitude towards books and ignite a life-long love of reading.”
Ms Keary continued: “The event was a fantastic opportunity for the Year 6s and 7s to meet up and talk about transition and literacy. We are planning a further event later in the summer where all the primaries and a number of Year 7s will come together again to the continue their focus on improving literacy and reading for pleasure, this will support a smooth transition for all.”
“Books are important. Books inspire, they inform, they delight; they encourage independent thought, invention and empathy,” commented Mrs Fiona Minshall, Head Teacher at Saint Paul’s. “Author visits are a wonderful way of engaging children and encouraging them to become keen readers. Studies have shown that children who read for pleasure achieve significantly more, regardless of background, than those who don't. Those achievements are not just in terms of academic success but include social and emotional behaviour too.”