Wednesday, 2 December 2015

When Angie Sage Visited Charters School

Report by Kaie Ames, Year 7

On Thursday 22 October, Angie Sage visited Charters where she met Year 7 and 8 students who asked lots of questions and had their books signed.

Angie said that there might be a movie based on Magyk - Warner Brothers, the film company, has an option to buy the books to make a movie and they're currently developing some ideas but it hasn't got the green light yet. Angie also said she might look to do a few spin-off Septimus Heap books - maybe one set 10 years after the book ends.

Angie was really inspiring and for anyone who wants to write a book she says, "Let your characters tell you what's important to them... I love hearing from my readers and you can connect with me on Keep writing and enjoy the books!"

Report by Alexandra Dunnet, Year 7

I was lucky enough to meet the author of the Septimus Heap series and the Pathfinder series. Me and my best friend Grace were chosen by Mr Hartwell to give Angie a tour of the school. She was extremely kind and it was nice to show her around the school as we had when we came (plus it was exciting to be in the presence of a best-selling author!!).

During break I got my copy of ‘Magyk’ signed and my Pathfinder book-mark signed!! Overall it was an absolutely amazing day!!

I want to thank Mr Hartwell for getting Angie Sage in and it was a brilliant day!!

Friday, 1 May 2015

Wonder of Words Young People's Literary Festival 2015

On Saturday 4 July 2015 Charters School will be holding Wonder of Words, its annual young people's literary festival and summer fair. Read on to find out more about the event, the authors who will be appearing and how you can get tickets. Alternatively, you can download the festival programme by clicking here

For this year's Wonder of Words Festival we have again managed to provide a brilliant line-up of author events, featuring some of the hottest authors currently writing for children and young adults (and one scorching hot illustrator). We are very excited to be hosting Abi Elphinstone, Tamsyn Murray and The Etherington Brothers and we believe we have a programme which has a little something for everyone.


The Etherington Brothers 11.00am-12.00pm

Brothers Robin & Lorenzo Etherington are the creators of Long Gone Don, Baggage, Monkey Nuts, Von Doogan & YORE! Their work appears regularly in The Phoenix comic and they have also worked on The Dandy, Transformers, Star Wars, Wallace & GromitDreamworks, Monsters vs Aliens and Madagascar 

In Lost & Found, their first workshop of the day, they will focus on story creation and the six steps to making awesome comics stories and art. A must for lovers of comics of all ages.

Tamsyn Murray 12.30-1.30pm

We are very excited to be welcoming Tamsyn Murray to WoW 2015. Tamsyn is the author of the Stunt Bunny series and YA supernatural romance series My So-Called Afterlife. Completely Cassidy is her new series for pre-teens and will have you giggling until you (quite possibly) burst. Tamsyn promises hula hooping, plate spinning and balloon modelling in her Completely Cassidy event.

The Etherington Brothers 2.00-3.00pm

The Big Adventure Show. In this, their second event of the day, Robin & Lorenzo Etherington will focus on how to create an original adventure from start to finish. As with all of their workshops, it promises to be an exciting, funny 
and creative show for comic lovers of all ages. 

Abi Elphinstone 3.30-4.30pm

Don’t miss your chance to meet Abi Elphinstone, the writer of The Dreamsnatcher, a book that many are already calling one of the best books of 2015. The Dreamsnatcher is a classic tale of good versus evil and is full of magic, adventure, and really nasty villains.It is perfect for fans of J.K. Rowling, Michelle Paver and Eva Ibbotson.


There is no charge for entry to the Summer Fair, however tickets for each author event are £2 per person. This year, we are also offering the following group/multi-event ticket packages:

  • Two person day ticket (Entry to all four events for any combination of two adults/children) (£12)
  • Three person day ticket (Entry to all four events for any combination of three adults/children) (£16)
  • Four person day ticket (Entry to all four events for any combination of four adults/children) (£20)

Tickets can be purchased online here at the school's ParentPay shop:

Please select the required ticket from the relevant 'Please select size' menu.
If you do not have a child at Charters School please ad 'n/a' in the relevant fields.

Your tickets will be available for collection on the day of the festival. We
recommend that you arrive slightly early in order to avoid missing the start
of your event(s).

In the rare situation where an author is unable to attend, the programme may change accordingly.

Books and Signings

We will be selling books after each event and there will be an opportunity to meet each author and get your books signed. Unfortunately we will not have credit card facilities on the day and we will only be accepting cash or cheques for book purchases. You are welcome to bring books you already own for signing.

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to email or call the school on 01344 624826

The Summer Fair

As mentioned above, the summer fair part of the day is completely free to enter, and there will be plenty going on for all of the family to keep you occupied between the author events, including:

Live music

Second hand book stall

Hot food stalls
Tea and cakes

Silent auction
Chocolate tombola

Bouncy castle
Sumo suits
Games, games and more games

All kinds of other stalls 

Friday, 3 April 2015

When Allan Boroughs Visted Charters School

Report by Hugo Webster, Year 7

“What to you is an adventure?”…..

“Going out of your comfort zone and going somewhere you have never been before,” someone said. A challenging question that certainly stuck in my mind. It was Allan Boroughs who asked this during his visit on the 9th of March. Allan visited Charters to talk to us about his books Ironheart and Bloodstone.

Allan explained, that for him, the best way to write an adventure book is to actually go on an adventure. He then told us about his trip to Siberia and how on a cold day it’s about -45 oc. I think the funniest part of the story was when he was on a train to the middle of Siberia, he woke up in the night to visit the toilet and his hand froze to the toilet door handle! He was stuck there for about two hours until the train conductor and a group of hysterical Russians came along at about seven o’clock in the morning with a jug of hot water to melt the ice trapping his hand. After he came out of the toilet, a woman told him that he was lucky they had warm water because if they hadn’t someone would’ve had to wee on his hand! He told us about this by reading an extract from his first book Ironheart.

After Allan’s Siberia story he told us about how he came up with one of his characters for Bloodstone, his second book. His son didn’t have a costume for a party so then they made a costume. The costume for Sid (Professor Moon’s airship pilot) was brilliant! The costume looked like something a world war one pilot would wear minus the hat and jetpack - he looked like someone out of a Sci-fi film. He read part of Bloodstone were Atlantis is filling with lava and the only way to escape is by India (the main character) and Sid jet packing out of the volcano – exciting stuff.

Returning to the question about adventure, a couple of people said the rainforest, someone said South America, but I said I’d go to Alaska – the isolation in that vast wilderness would be an adventure on it’s own, that would stay with me for life.

Allan talked meteors and how one (about 100 kilometres wide) once hit the Earth. The air couldn’t get out of the way quick enough so it exploded mid-air and all the surrounding trees were blown over as if they were “praying”. From this colossal event not one single person was injured as the “reindeer riders” had moved away by the time of the explosion. We don’t know how they knew about the meteor because it would have been millions of miles away.

All too soon the hour of absolute fun was over and we had to go back to lessons. At second break, I went back to the hall and met this amazing author who signed my two books.

Friday, 28 November 2014

When Steve Cole Visited Charters school

Report by Hugo Webster, Year 7

When I first heard there was a new ‘Young Bond’ book being published I thought of the author Charlie Higson and I searched for it online - it said Steve Cole was the author and I thought “who’s he?” I was excited but anxious - was he going to be as good as Charlie Higson….?

I received the book a couple of days before Steve’s visit and was enthralled…

On Monday 10th of September Steve Cole came to Charters. At second break I queued to get my book signed (I had only got to page 76 and boy it was good!). A group of Bond lovers surrounded Steve and we had our picture taken.

Finally fifth period arrived and the wait was over! I saw streams of people heading for the hall and I managed to get a front row seat - a perfect view to see him. He stepped out and introduced himself, then explained how he had written Astrosaurs and Cows In Action. He’d worked as an editor for a magazine company before he became a full time writer.

He told us about the day that would change his life….. the day, when he’d finished his lunch as he was walking out of the restaurant his assistant phoned him and told him that the Ian Fleming Foundation had picked him to write the new books.

After that he showed us some spy gadgets: he had binoculars where one of the eye pieces was a flask (for when you are spying on someone and you need a drink) - he also had a gun keychain that was a lighter for when you are out in a forest and you need to make a fire.

Following the gadgets that he showed us Steve went on to talk through the first chapter of the book and tell us about the characters; James Bond, the teenage boy, expelled from Eton, never to trust again. Hugo Grande a dwarf that doesn’t like classes but loves skiving. Boudicca (Boody) Pyre a girl that will take machines apart to her heart’s content and Dan Solomon, a boy who found a film reel, the reel that someone is willing to kill for. These friends all went to Dartington Hall.

Steve highlighted that as it was the anniversary of Ian Fleming’s first film when he was picked to write the stories that it would be a good idea for the group of friends to visit Hollywood as part of the plot. First, as always, he had to run it past Ian Fleming’s remaining family. Then he told us about their mode of transport, the LZ 127 Graf Zeppelin. A key part of the story, it was a German-built and operated airship which actually operated commercially from 1928 to 1937. The airship was named after the German pioneer of airships, Ferdinand von Zeppelin, who was a count (Graf) in the German nobility.

Even though I had read it, hearing him inject so much life and passion into the story I wanted to read the rest there and then.

To conclude he played a game. He had a target and two Nerf guns, he picked two contestants by telling us a riddle and whoever got the riddle right played against each other, he used the lipstick to mark the darts. The first person to fire hit the third ring out from the center of the target and when the second person fired she hit near the middle of the ‘O’ in BOND at the top of the card board target. When Steve had his turn he pulled out a bigger Nerf gun and blew the target away.

Information On Steve Cole
Steve was born in 1971 and was brought up in rural Bedfordshire. One of the reasons he loves being an author is because he can lounge around wearing pyjamas all day but when he starts to write something he can’t stop.