Climate fiction, or “Cli-fi”, is a term that refers to fiction dealing with climate change and global warming. This week our Library organized an outreach event promoting and celebrating this relatively new genre.
Norwich School’s Upper 3 pupils, and Year 6 pupils from five other Norfolk schools, gathered in the Blake Studio to listen to three very different speakers talking about environmentally-themed literature.
First off was Ghanaian-born Yaba Badoe, who spoke about her books Jigsaw of Fire and Stars, Wolf Light and Lionheart Girl. Animals, the natural world, and shapeshifting all feature large in her works, and she uses magic realism to help her reader to feel that they are a part of the natural world, and closer to it. She spoke about her childhood, her own passion for reading, and the compulsion that she feels to write, even in the face of rejection – definitely an inspiring role-model for any would-be writers in the audience.
Pupils were then in for a treat from “The Poet with Punch” – professional boxer and professional performance poet Matt Windle. Matt made sure that everyone was able to compose some poetry on the spot, using environmental vocabulary as their cues. He also performed some of his own freestyle poetry, and undoubtedly changed some of the children’s minds about how much fun spoken word poetry can be.
After a break for lunch, our afternoon speaker was Norfolk-based Mitch Johnson, author of Kick, Pop! and Spark, all books with an environmental theme to them. He spoke about Pop!, in which a girl discovers the priceless secret recipe for the world’s most popular fizzy drink, and goes on the run with it – with some alarming and often hilarious consequences. Mitch’s presentation had a serious side to it too, as he spoke about some of the health and environmental issues that arise from his writing. Many pupils will have been surprised to learn about the power of product placement in films, as well as the shocking sugar content in fizzy drinks!
Independent bookseller Book bugs and Dragon Tales were in attendance, selling books to pupils, who were able to have them signed by the authors.
Some quotes from our visiting school pupils:
“All of the speakers were amazing!”
“I absolutely loved it!”
“I would definitely recommend these authors”
“I enjoyed learning about other books”
“This showed me how fun reading is”