Aiming to inspire young readers

Dan Smith visits Norham High School as part of the Northern Childrens Book Festival.
Dan Smith visits Norham High School as part of the Northern Childrens Book Festival.

An acclaimed author has been inspiring youngsters to try their writing skills.

Dan Smith spent time with pupils at Norham High School, in North Shields, as part of this year’s Northern Children’s Book Festival.

Dan, who also writes thrillers for adults, is famous for his adventure and survival stories for younger readers including My Friend the Enemy, Big Game and Boy X.

The author, who lives with his wife and two children in Newcastle, met keen readers from Years 7 and 8 at Norham High School and Churchill Community College, as well as Year 6 pupils from Collingwood Primary School.

David Baldwin, executive headteacher at Norham High School and Churchill Community College, said: “We were very excited to welcome the author Dan Smith to our school.

“His books are extremely popular with our pupils and they couldn’t wait to meet him and grill him about his work and what inspires him.

“We have a very strong focus on literacy here at Norham High School and work hard to inspire a love of reading for pleasure, right across the school.

“We believe that good literacy begins with reading, so we encourage reading for pleasure in lots of different ways, including Drop Everything And Read, plus our popular Norham Book Club.

“Our Learning Resource Centre was purposefully designed to offer an ideal environment for quiet reading, with comfortable seating and a library area stocked with inspirational titles.”

Dan Smith’s debut novel for younger readers, My Friend The Enemy, was long listed for the Branford Boase Award 2014, and his 2015 novel Big Game is based on a major movie starring Samuel L Jackson.

You can find out more about Dan at www.dansmithsbooks.com

The visit was organised in partnership with North Tyneside Libraries.

The annual Northern Children’s Book Festival includes a full two-week programme of visits and activities for schools with authors and illustrators, many of national and international renown.

The festival culminates in a free Gala Day celebration event where children and their families are able to meet and get actively involved in creative sessions run by the inspiring creators of their favourite children’s books.

For more about this year’s Northern Children’s Book Festival, visit www.northernchildrensbookfestival.org.uk