The Gosforth Community Book Festival
Years 4 and 5 ended the term with a snap-shot view of the Gosforth Community Book Festival, impressively organised by Simon Asker, Lucy-Anne’s husband and Monty’s dad. Friendly Big Dave from Bayne’s Travel, drove us speedily to the affluent Grove, in Gosforth, where he parked up and from where we breezed into the imposing red-brick building – the Headquarters of the Senior end of the Newcastle School for Boys. Moving through into a large, spacious room we were split into groups and off we went to interact with different authors. My group opted first to listen to Andy Briggs ‘ a screenwriter, graphic novelist, author and conservationist’. A chirpy, enthusiastic Scouser, Andy first explained to us that authors weren’t boring and lived jolly, exciting lives and he engaged us with tales of his rebooting of the classic character Tarzan and. As one of our group said, ‘Andy was very funny and he did a lot of awesome stuff like sniffing a gorilla and telling us that gorillas don’t eat bananas’ (research for his Tarzan rebooting). Andy had been working for Warner Brothers in Hollywood and he had met Steven Spielberg and worked with Stan Lee.
After that we moved on to listen to Brummie, Dave Cousins whose books have been hailed as ‘teen realism with action, humour and heart’. Dave spent time talking about a holiday he had experienced as a little boy in Wales when things went badly wrong. Dave was good fun and he had an actor’s technique in dramatizing this scene from life. Jemima’s group rocked up to see Chris Callaghan: ‘he was really nice and chirpy’ and his idea of a Chocopocalypse – a global chocolate crisis was turned into his first book, The Great Chocoplot.
Group 3 began their literary expedition with a ‘visit to Tom Palmer. We asked him questions about how he came to write books on sport and what had inspired him to write’. As a child himself, Tom had not taken much interest in reading, but his mum inspired him by saying it was much better to read about a subject you liked, so Tom read loads about sport. Fergus continues, ‘we had a quiz and when we got a question right, we had to kick a ball over miniature rugby posts. I was runner-up and Angus won, being presented with one of those golden Oscars.
Sophie’s group went to see Holly Sterling ‘who read us a book called Fifteen Things Not to Do with a Granny. After that we drew a picture of our own granny’. Holly, an illustrator and graphic designer as well as being an author, was very happy to sign book marks and talk about what inspired her to write. Eliza was keen to ‘get Hannah Russell’s autograph and book mark. She wrote books about her Shetland pony’.
In a flash it was all over and we trooped back to the bus, enriched and enlivened by our encounters with these very different but interesting authors, and Big Dave drove us safely home. We all had a great time: thanks to Mrs Kay for organizing the trip.
For a video of the event please click below…