"Certainly, I would not be a Harvard student today if it were not for my experience at Bolton School."

Paddy Pender - Harvard Student

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Look Who's Dropped into our Reading Group

Friday, 01 July 2011

Year 8 girls at Bolton School were delighted to welcome author Annabel Pitcher to their reading circle, who has just seen her debut novel, My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece, nominated for The Guardian's Children's Book of the Year prize. 

Twenty nine year old Annabel ran a wonderful creative writing session with the girls, helping them create a character's voice.  Annabel's novel is written in the first person, through the eyes of Jamie and she read excerpts to the group.  Writing in the first person allows you to drop the quotation marks, which interested the class a lot.  Annabel advised the class to look at the work of fellow-author and friend Marcus Sedgwick in The Raven Mysteries where he writes from the perspective of a crow. 

Annabel said: "There has been some brilliant work today and this is the best group I've ever had.  The girls were very bright - academically but also imaginatively and creatively.  An amazing session." 

Philippa Lee, aged 13, said: "It has been a great morning.  I really enjoyed the way Jamie was portrayed in the book and how he had did not have any emotions towards his sister."  Nina Rabbitt, aged 13, had also enjoyed the lesson: "We played a great warm up game and we were made to think of how different people and things see the world and how it might look from their angle." 

Annabel's novel has been hailed as a triumph and is funny, warm and honest.  She has just finished writing her second novel, which she said was a slightly different experience - in that she had to work to a deadline and writing was no longer a hobby but a job!  

The Year 8 Reading Group meets every 2 weeks to discuss and analyse a range of literature that the girls are enjoying.

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Annabel Pitcher and Bolton School girls

My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece was the text around which the session was shaped