9 November 2016

Acclaimed author Dan Smith aimed to inspire pupils in North Tyneside when he visited Norham High School as part of this year’s Northern Children’s Book Festival in association with North Tyneside Libraries.

Dan is famous for his adventure and survival stories for younger readers including My Brother's Secret, My Friend the Enemy, Big Game and Boy X. He also writes thrillers for adults.

Growing up, he travelled the world, finding adventure in the padi-fields of South East Asia and the jungles of Brazil. Dan mesmerised Years 7 and 8 from Norham and Churchill Community College, as well as Year 6 pupils from Collingwood Primary School with his stories of what he got up to in the exotic places he lived.  From leeches to orangutangs and hit men to Hollywood, Dan really entertained his audience for over an hour before finishing off with a question and answer session and then a book signing.

Headteacher David Baldwin said: “We are very excited to welcome the author Dan Smith to our school. His books are extremely popular with our pupils and I know they can’t wait to meet him and grill him about his work and what inspires him.

“We have a very strong focus on literacy here at Norham High School and work hard to inspire a love of reading for pleasure, right across the school.

“We believe that good literacy begins with reading, so we encourage reading for pleasure in lots of different ways, including ‘Drop Everything And Read’ which happens at least once a week in all English lessons, plus our popular Norham Book Club.

“Our recently-opened Learning Resource Centre was purposefully designed to offer an ideal environment for quiet reading, with comfortable seating and a library area stocked with inspirational titles that our pupils want to dive into. We hope that Dan’s visit will help to inspire our pupils’ passion for reading, even further. “

Dan Smith’s debut novel for younger readers, My Friend The Enemy, was long listed for the Branford Boase Award 2014, and his 2015 novel Big Game is based on a major movie starring Samuel L Jackson.

You can find out more about Dan at www.dansmithsbooks.com

The annual Northern Children’s Book Festival includes a full two-week programme of visits and activities for schools with authors and illustrators, many of national and international renown.

The festival culminates in a free Gala Day celebration event where children and their families are able to meet and get actively involved in creative sessions run by the inspiring creators of their favourite children’s books.

For more about this year’s Northern Children’s Book Festival, visit www.northernchildrensbookfestival.org.uk