Durrington High School students are still chuckling after they got to meet Award Winning funny book Author, Simon James Green.
A group of students from the school’s book club got to meet the Award Winning author, who was the host of The 2022 Amazing Book Awards in summer. Readers had been looking forward to meeting him, and the nominated authors back in June, but the event had to revert to online due to Covid issues. As such, this was the first in person Author event since before the pandemic and the students were so excited to get to hear about his work, his career path and to get to ask questions. The queue for getting books signed was buzzing with excitement and they were thrilled to bits to get an exclusive badge each when they got to speak with Simon at the book signing.
Simon James Green has a number of fantastic LGBT+ themed Young Adult novels, 2 Middle Grade novels and 2 brilliant picture books for younger readers. Simon was talking about writing his books for older teens specifically but talked us through his career journey, from (self-appointed) school councillor, TV and West End director and on to his current success in publishing. The common theme throughout was Simon’s ability to embrace the embarrassing events that life can throw in your path. Learning to laugh at adversity. Finding the humour to lighten the load helps build resilience and, as in Simon’s case, can be excellent source material for your own creative work.
On the return journey students discussed how much they had enjoyed the opportunity to meet Simon. “I had such a great time. My dream has been to meet a published author!” Said one year 10 reader. “It was so nice to hear where he got his inspiration from and to hear his own stories.” Shared a year 9 student. They also talked about what careers they could see themselves doing in publishing, from writing, editing and proofreading through to cover design and publicity.
Mrs Baker, Durrington’s School Librarian said “It was great to hear the positive effect that getting to speak directly to such an engaging author had on our group. They came away buzzing with new books to read over half term. It’s also brilliant to get students to think about the wider world of work after they leave education. So much work goes into producing successful novels, and our students got to think about themselves being involved in publishing in many different ways.”
Durrington High School is one of the founding schools of the Amazing Book Awards, now in its 13th year. Students at participating schools nominate, champion and vote for the best British YA books published within the past year. When the final five have been chosen, students get the opportunity to meet the finalists in a big Summer Awards event. With 40 schools across Sussex participating and 1000’s of students reading along, there are over 500 students in attendance at the awards night. Durrington High School is proud to be instrumental in delivering such an engaging awards event. The Amazing Book Awards prides itself on actively engaging young minds as reading is a vital skill. Encouraging teens to read for pleasure helps ensure that they can access and understand the work they do at school. Durrington High School is committed to working with our students to find the right book for each and every student. With a well-stocked library and two dedicated library staff, Durrington students have a brilliant opportunity to find something new and exciting every time they come to the library.