One sure-fire way of encouraging reluctant young readers to pick up a book, or inspiring pupils to try their hand at creative writing, is to bring an author or illustrator to their school. The children are given the opportunity to make a personal connection with the face behind the book, through an interactive event, reading or book signing, and to learn about their profession. Meeting the people behind the books demystifies the creative process for children and they are often inspired to pick up a book, or to begin writing or drawing themselves.
Scottish Book Trust has brought authors to the schools of Scotland for the past 17 years, thanks to funding from Scottish Friendly Assurance. The tour has brought the country’s most inspirational authors and illustrators to more than 70,000 children so far, spreading a love of reading, writing and illustration across the country.
Geraldine Moore, a teacher at Kyle Academy, talks about her experience of the Scottish Friendly Children’s Book Tour with author Phil Earle.
“Working with a group of S2 boys who are reluctant readers – and very open about it – is a huge challenge. That is, until the moment I introduced them to Phil Earle’s writing.
“Unbeknown to them they were being drawn into a world of books, becoming captivated by a good old read. It seemed to me that, without warning and quite unexpectedly, they were being transformed into a class of boys engaged in a reading culture for the first time in their lives.
“Then the moment dawned when it was time to meet the author himself. The visit was such a success thanks to Phil Earle being a genuine, real, down to earth, honest, funny person. The S2 boys loved him. Yes, they felt special. Who wouldn’t?”
Schools can apply for a free visit by going to www.scottishbooktrust.com and registering their interest.