A Bookish Adventure

I started this blog to document an extended trip to the US and UK in 2012, introducing children to my Alice-Miranda series. It's hard to believe that it's just on four years since we launched the first Alice-Miranda title - and now there are nine books out in Australia with another five still to come. When I first came up with the idea of this precocious seven and a quarter year old, I had no clue that she would take me on such an amazing journey, not only in Australia but also across the world. I visited 37 schools while we were away in 2012 and gave over 80 talks - it was fantastic. In 2013 I've been on lots of new adventures in the UK - visiting schools from London to Southampton, Lancashire, Scotland, Newcastle and back to London again. After that I headed off to meet readers in Singapore. In Australia I've been to Melbourne, Perth, Albany, Alice Springs and Brisbane. There's a new series too - about a gorgeous little girl called Clementine Rose. She and Alice-Miranda don't know each other yet, but they will soon.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

A day in the South West of Sydney - Mount Annan

My blogging is a little behind as I've been flat out finishing a new book, Clementine Rose and the Farm Fiasco and working in Perth and Albany WA.  This week has been a little quieter and closer to home but I'll get to that later.

A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of visiting Mount Annan Christian School and Mount Annan Primary School. Nestled between Campbelltown and Narellan, an area I know well as I grew up in Camden, just a little further over the hill.  When I was a child there was barely a house along this stretch of road, but it's certainly not that way now.  Home to a stunning Botanical Garden and large estates, the chicken farms and rolling green hills of my childhood are a distant memory.  Zoe and I had set off from Sydney early, in torrential rain, but the day cleared and certainly while it bucketed closer to the coast, the skies were blue where we were.

It was lovely to meet the students in both of these schools and as I often do, make connections with people I've met before, albeit quite some time ago.  There was a teacher at the Christian School who had taught scripture at Camden High School when I was there as a student.  He must have been but a boy at the time!

I love to entertain an audience and this day was no exception.  The children in both schools were enthusiastic and asked loads of great questions.  You can tell a lot about a school from the way the students behave and interact and the type of questions they ask - these kids were thoughtful and inquisitive and it was great to meet them.

It's always fun too, to ask children about their ambitions - of course there are always loads of them who are aiming to be professional sports stars, there are some who just want to be stars (not bothered about how they get there) and many who have professional goals - I think vet science must be one of the most favoured responses.  As a child I harboured all manner of desires but I knew from an early age that I would be a teacher and hoped that one day I would be an author too.  If the children I met today, realise that a very ordinary little girl from just over the hill in Camden can work hard and achieve her dreams, then why shouldn't they achieve theirs too.