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The Scottish Friendly Children’s Book Tour visited secondary schools in Falkirk, East Ayrshire and South Ayrshire this November with the fantastic young adult author Phil Earle.
Fuelled by Tunnocks caramel wafers and 90s dance classics, we kicked off the week in Ayrshire, visiting schools in Ayr, Kilmarnock, Stewarton, Auchinleck and Cumnock, before heading back East for two days with schools in Falkirk.
Over the course of the week Phil met over 1500 pupils from 12 different schools and smashed the record for book sales on a secondary school tour – a brilliant indication of how inspiring his sessions were, even for the most reluctant readers!
Phil’s award-winning novels are inspired by real stories and real people. His first job after university was as a care worker in a residential kid’s home, an experience which influenced his first two novels, Being Billy and Saving Daisy. Throughout the week Phil encouraged pupils to be aware of the stories that surround them every day; in newspapers, on TV, and hidden behind every front door. He spoke about the children’s books which inspired him at the age of 26 to become a writer and how everyone is a reader, whether they are reading comics, classic fiction or posts on Facebook.
Schools did some fantastic projects around Phil’s visit – one group of S2 boys had re-enacted a scene from Heroic in their school playground, another school had used the event to kick-start a week long school-wide celebration of reading, and another group of pupils interviewed Phil for their school radio!
Reluctant readers and budding authors alike were left inspired and buzzing to read more of Phil’s books, with school librarians telling reporting huge waiting lists to borrow Phil’s books after his visit!
A huge thank you to Phil for a brilliant week of events and to all of the fantastic pupils and staff who we visited for their energy and enthusiasm!
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