Over the past few weeks, I have had the pleasure of meeting families taking part in the Summer Reading Challenge. Not only did we travel through space with Big Ox and Little One, some of us got the chance to colour in sea horses, draw our own Little One portraits in astronaut’s helmets and capture fire bears in plastic bottles. I am forever grateful for the opportunity to be a part of the Summer Reading Challenge and look forward to promoting other events through the library service in the future.
My favourite part of the events was meeting future young writers who were so excited to tell me all about their stories. I will re-iterate what I told the parents I spoke to: there are good writing support sites for young writers, including the Young Writers website and Young NaNoWriMo, which I’ve linked. We have a range of young writers growing and developing and I can’t wait to see what they have to offer in the near future. If you need any help supporting their writing, let me know.
Without your valued support, author events would be a total flop, so thank you to all the families that turned up to my Story Time at the Summer Reading Challenge. Please don’t forget to leave your review of Space Dust (if you’ve bought a copy), on my selling page. It is always nice for other families to find out whether a book is worth it or not.
Living through the pranks and big personalities at Arden White Primary School was pretty tough but starting secondary school and finding out secrets about your form tutor on your first day can be life threatening! Snotty Normal and Spotty Sally are thrown together as they uncover a secret that could expose the awful things teachers do to naughty students. Who can they trust to help them tell the truth about Evelyn Winsborough Academy?
Here’s a little snippet from my first draft:
The ear-piercing sound of the first period bell resounded across the school, instigating a stampede of footsteps to the next class. The new year 7’s tentatively got up and followed Mrs Whitby to the door. Organised chaos awaited them outside. Shoals of students swam by, blotting out the view of the quad and the fountain. One by one, the year 7’s disappeared into the fray, pushing towards their next class and hoping for a gap in the crowd to actually make it there. Signs pointed each newbie in the right direction and within three minutes, the quad was clear, the corridors empty and an eerie silence replaced the noise of just a few seconds before. Snotty Norman sniffled next to Spotty Sally; both looked confused and afraid. They had missed their chance. All the other students had listened to Mrs Whitby’s boring chat about where to go and what to do next. They had not.
The school looked overwhelmingly big and daunting. Where was Geography Class 7T? Without knowing it, without feeling it, Norman and Sally edged closer to each other, feeling the comfort of having someone else just as daft as the other. What were they going to do?
It has been the long awaited sequel to Cecil the Bully and Spoilt Miranda. At last, their friends will be getting a chance to tell their own tale of meeting the infamous Ms Crow and her deadly stare.
Without further ado, I present:
Snotty Norman and Spotty Sally Find Fame
Now that the year 6 children of Arden White Primary School have enjoyed their summer holidays and forged new friendships outside the confines of the school grounds, we meet them again as they start their first day at Evelyn Winsborough Academy – a school with a reputation for aggressive behaviour and truancy.
Little do they know that the school has had a major overhaul over the last year. With sparkling new classrooms and hi-tech gear to keep the children occupied (and monitored), Mr Dank, the Head Teacher, expects a high standard of behaviour from the newbies. Unfortunately for him, he doesn’t know what’s coming his way as the notorious Arden White crew start their new year causing chaos down the clean halls and run riot over brittle-backed teachers.
Join the young ruffians as they encounter Ms Crow again in a comical calamity that leaves the teachers huffing and the children puffing to get out of her way!
Working as a junior school librarian has given me the opportunity to see first-hand, how my books affect their readers. Young readers don’t get an opportunity to write book reviews for titles they’ve enjoyed unless it is in-house, that is, in their classroom or school library. I like to encourage my students to share their views with each other by offering up a suggestion box in our library which is filled with book titles chosen by my young readers. I’m happy to add Spoilt Miranda and Cecil the Bully have made the cut!
When discussing books, I get a lot of feedback from my younger readers that Spoilt Miranda is strange and takes the younger reviewer on a confusing journey of dreams before she resolves her situation. My older customers get it though and enjoy the ride. Sometimes scary, sometimes thrilling, the idea of Spoilt Miranda is controversial and encourages discussion on how her silly behaviour could have been dealt with in a better manner. I like this because it makes the reader think further than just the story.
Cecil, on the other hand, encourages my readers of any age to think of what steps they would take to sort out a bully. From standing up to him or joining his ranks, there are always amusing points of view. The slapstick comedy goes down a treat and adds to the entertainment factor of the book, according to the young reviewers. This is something to consider when I write the next sequel to the Arden White Primary School students.
Give or take the marmite reflections on my books by the young students at my school, I’m pleased to share the news that they are mostly enjoyed and well read. It gives me great pleasure to see this and I do hope more children are enjoying my books around the world.
Check out my other titles available from these links:
It is with huge excitement I announce the arrival of Spoilt Miranda in audio format. The wonderful, talented and incredibly kind Kate Shrewsday has helped me create a version of Miranda that is easy to download and enjoy at bedtimes or on the road – perfect for driving to the Dorset coast where Miranda goes on holiday with her parents and siblings!
After Googling Spoilt Miranda to see how many sites have picked up on her, I discovered a new site called takealot.com which is offering Miranda at R21 in South Africa. It’s strange to think that someone will be purchasing Spoilt Miranda close to where I came from! How fantastic is that? The most surprising place I’ve found Miranda is listed on Ebay through a variety of sellers.
A massive thank you to all who have purchased Spoilt Miranda. Please, don’t forget to leave your review of the book from your point of purchase. Thank you.
Spoilt Miranda by Eloise De Sousa revolves around Miranda and her tantrums that are driving her family mad. Miranda is a spoilt and sulky child, unlike her brothers and sisters. Her parents found it embarrassing to take her anywhere with them because she would sulk and pout – she thought no one could touch her, including the policewoman who comes to check on her. The family goes to Aunt Joan’s beach house on the Dorset coast for their summer family holiday. Miranda continues with her usual behavior, but for once Miranda finds herself on the other end of tantrums. She finds it surprising at first, and scowls and pouts to no avail. Will she realize her mistakes and change for the better? Or will she still be the same incorrigible Miranda?
It is a good story that tells kids about the disadvantages of being a problematic child and how one person’s tantrums can spoil everything for the other siblings in the family. The changes that come about in Miranda during their summer vacation are indeed inspirational for kids to rectify their behavior. The illustrations are good and they give a personality to Miranda and the rest of the characters in the story. Miranda’s character is relatable since many parents have kids like Miranda. It is a peppy story that kids will enjoy reading. Miranda and her dreams tell us how kids make a scary place for themselves. The terrible tantrums, summer holidays and the kids make this book a wonderful read.
Next in the series is Cecil The Bully. Order your copy here.
Cecil and his friends are the best at playing pranks on others, especially their teacher, Mr Barns. But, after a seriously bad prank involving exploding Easter Eggs, Mrs Palmer, the Head Teacher, decides that Cecil and his minions have gone too far!
The Police are called in and a specialist teacher is sent to the school to teach those badly behaved Year 6’s a lesson they won’t forget. You might remember her: the tall, thin woman with the raven black hair. Her name is Ms Crow and she has a knack of finding children that don’t behave.
Will she teach Cecil and his gang a lesson, or will their pranks prove to be too much for Ms Crow?