Author Helen Rutter Shares Reggie’s Powers with Juniors
Junior Boys Junior Girls

Author and former Bolton Children’s Fiction Award (BCFA) winner Helen Rutter visited Bolton School to share her new book ‘Reggie Houser Has The Power’ with Junior Boys and Junior Girls. Her talk was engaging from the moment she walked onto the stage. Despite remaining silent, Helen convinced everyone in the packed hall to clap their hands, bark like a dog and even cluck like a chicken!

She then asked her audience how she did it without speaking a single word. The answer? Mind control.

As Helen went on to explain, mind control actually involves a combination of social compliance, hypnosis and suggestion, and she described what each of these aspects means and how they are used. Moving into the world of fiction, she talked about how, in her book, the main character Reggie becomes completely obsessed with mind control and how it works, and even becomes able to do it himself. She read everyone the section of the book where Reggie tries out mind control for the first time.

Helen also talked about another important aspect of Reggie’s character. He has ADHD, and after carefully and sensitively explaining what the acronym means and how it impacts people, she shared an extract about his experience of ADHD from the book.

In addition to talking about ‘Reggie Houser Has The Power’, Helen also spoke about her journey to becoming an author. She said it was something that had never crossed her mind when she was younger, but now she has written multiple books. She reassured pupils that it’s not about being ‘good at English’ and that anyone can write. She shared the advice to write what you know, or if you want to write about something you don’t know, learn about it first. This was exactly what she had to do to write ‘Reggie Houser Has The Power’ as she didn’t know anything about hypnosis beforehand. Finally, Helen encouraged everyone to take part in an exercise to generate ideas using a simple ‘three box’ technique. Everyone came up with a character and the beginnings of a story using this method, and some shared their creative ideas with the group. Another piece of advice shared during this exercise was, ‘Don’t get it right, get it written.’

To bring the session to a close, Helen read another section of ‘Reggie Houser Has The Power’: the part where he has been encouraged by his gang of mates to hypnotise the headmaster. She then shared one last mind control trick with everyone and showed them how they could use it themselves!

Pupils who had bought Helen’s books were able to get their copies signed and have a brief chat with her at the end of her fascinating talk.

Flickr album: Helen Rutter Visit February 2024 | Height: auto | Theme: Default | Skin: Default Skin


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