On 1 December, a group of Lower and Upper Four readers attended a 'Lock-in' in the Undercroft Library. Local Young Adult fiction author Richard Lambert came to speak about his new novel Shadow Town, and his earlier book The Wolf Road, winner of The Mal Peet Children’s Award 2021.
In a very interactive talk, where pupils also shared their own views and experiences, the author spoke about portal novels, where characters cross into another world, and discussed themes found in his book, such as climate change and pressure on young people today. He spoke about where he finds his inspiration, which can be as varied as incidental conversations with strangers, castles visited years ago, or a neighbour’s cat!
Within the group were several Fourth Form writers, and ideas were shared about free writing, plotting, drafting and editing, as well as an insider’s look at the process of designing a book cover, and some of the processes involved in publishing a book.
The evening was rounded off with soup, bread, hot chocolate and brownies, and some more chat about books – this time pupils sharing what stories had helped them to manage when they were locked down and unable to go out.
The recommendations included:
- Malorie Blackman, Pig-Heart Boy
- Morris Gleitzman, Once
- Peter Bunzl, The Cogheart Adventures,
- Paul Stewart, Edge Chronicles
- Rick Riordan, Percy Jackson and the Olympians
- Catherine Bruton, Another Twist in the Tale
- Suzanne Collins, The Hunger Games
- Alexandra Bracken, The Darkest Minds
- Anthony Horowitz, Alex Rider Series
- Veronica Roth, Divergent
- Nick Mohammed, The Young Magicians and the Thieves’ Almanac
- Neal Shusterman, Unwind
- Manjeet Mann, Run, Rebel
- Victoria Aveyard, Red Queen
- Patrice Lawrence, Orange Boy