On Remembrance Day (11 November) young readers in Tolworth got a very special visit from Kate Saunders, author of new novel Five Children on the Western Front, which we arranged with publishers Faber & Faber.
Year six and seven pupils from two local Kingston schools, Tolworth Girls' School and St Matthew's School, heard Kate Saunders read from the novel, which is a 'sequel' to E. Nesbit's classic 1902 novel Five Children and It.
Kate's new book centres around the fact that E. Nesbit's original young characters Cyril, Anthea, Robert, Jane and Baby the lamb - who embarked upon a series of adventures following their discovery of the ancient sand-fairy, the Psammead - would have faced futures overshadowed by the First World War. The children have grown up and the war has begun; for the first time in 10 years, the sand-fairy reappears.
Marking the centenary of the war
This year's centenary of the start of the First World War has been marked in schools and libraries throughout Kingston and beyond. The young readers who attended today's event also got to ask questions about Five Children on the Western Front.
"It's been a lovely day, and so inspiring to meet so many children who love books so much. They asked such insightful questions," said Kate Saunders.
Councillor Andrea Craig, Kingston Council's lead member for children, youth and adult learning, said: "This is an invaluable opportunity for the children of both schools to meet the author and to imagine life as a child affected by World War One on Armistice Day itself. We have excellent links between local libraries and schools and I very much hope that the visit helps inspire the next generation of writers."
Working with publishers
This event was part of our work with its partners from the publishing world to create successful and exciting events and activities for readers of all ages.
"We were delighted to work with Faber & Faber to set up this very special visit. We know that meeting an author and hearing them talk about their book is a genuinely inspiring experience for children. Kate's book is funny, enthralling, and provides readers with a quite unique insight into the impact of World War One on those left behind. I think the young people who heard her will remember the occasion for a very long time," says Andrea Reece, who works on our children's programmes.
Download our First World War Chatterbooks activity pack to discuss fiction and non-fiction books about the war with your Chatterbooks children's reading group.