Monday, 4 February 2013

Shortlisted at Rotherham Children's Book Awards

Secrets of the Henna Girl has been selected for the Rotherham Children's Book Awards shortlist. That's the third award selection for the book since publication.
Very happy and honoured.

I also want to share these two new messages I received from fans of the book.

1. The first one is from 11 year old Laila Ahmed Baghdadi at Thetherdown Primary School who read the book and wrote this poem. (yes she really is 11).
I met her through a school visit organised by the South Asian Literature Festival.

A poem on how Zeba is feeling on the car journey on the way to the airport:

All the emotions bubbling furiously within me
Nerves and intrigue skipping through my veins
Taya - ij brings a tremble to my mind
I wish I could just stay
Cars and pavement rushing past my window
Into the distance they race while my heart thumps louder
Potions, spices and vivid Sari's all await me
Although my modest hometown chippie is were I long to be
Tangled in a mass of confusion
Impatient to see what the future brings
Observing my parents closely
Now boarding the plane with curiousity 

2. A lovely email from a young student called Adam Agowun from Parmiters School in Watford who has kindly given permission to share his message.

Hi,
You may not remember me, but you came to my school, Parmiters in Watford, on Monday 14th January. I was sitting at the front and I would like to once again say thank you for coming, but also that your book was amazing. it was even so good, that my mum, who never has time to read anything, sat down every evening just to read it! I hope you come back to our school, maybe to talk about a new book?
 
All the best
Regards,
Adam Agowun

Thank you Adam and Laila. I'm trying to finish the new book right now.


Monday, 21 January 2013

7 Stories

Had the pleasure of working with Seven Stories again which is the National Centre for Children's Books.
The lovely team arranged author visits in Durham and Newcastle before showing me around their wonderful building where I met the giant Grufflalo (forgot to take pic when I hugged him).
But here's a couple of pics from my work with 7Stories.


above pic at a school with Year 9 in Newcastle in 2013
bottom pic at Diverse Talks author event with witer Zahid Khan arranged by 7Stories in Manchester in 2012



North East Teen Book Award

Just returned from Newcastle where I attended the North East Teen Book Awards. I was delighted that Secrets of the Henna Girl was on a shortlist with five other books. The awards night was fab despite the fact that some of the people couldn't make it from the other cities and towns due to the snow.
Thank you to Eileen Earmstrong for organising the whole event. Eileen does it every year and her hard work means that the awards has a reputation for being highly respected.
It was also wonderful to spend time with the other shortlisted authors. Chris Priestly, Dave Cousins, Elizabeth Wein, fellow Puffin author Louisa Reid and of course the winner, Teri Terry.