On the latest episode of We’d Like A Word, Paul and Stevyn chat to children’s author Serena Patel about her new book Anisha: Accidental Detective (excellently illustrated by Emma McCann). Books for children and young adults are as popular as ever so we talk about how to write for a younger audience and Serena’s dramatic life story and how it shaped her character (and the character of her book’s hero, Anisha). She also reads from her book and talks about her childhood experiences of racism, homelessness and being bullied. We also hear about the detective books she read as a child and the inspirational British Asians she looked up to.
We also go behind the scenes of children’s book promotion with freelancer Fritha Lindqvist (who helped Cressida Cowell train her dragon). Fritha also tells us about the various campaigns that exist to get children reading and learning from stories (see links below).
And in the second of an occasional series of bookshop visits, Paul goes to the beautiful Daunt Books in Marylebone High Street to chat to bookseller Rose Cole & book lovers from the USA.
Go listen now! Click here or find us on iTunes, Spotify, Google podcasts or wherever good podcasts lurk.
National Literacy Trust
The NLT are an independent charity dedicated to giving disadvantaged children the literacy skills they need to succeed. They work to improve the reading, writing, speaking and listening skills in the UK’s poorest communities, where one in three people have literacy problems. Because low literacy is inter-generational, they focus their work on families, young people and children. They help to transform lives through literacy and have stacks of research that shows that reading for pleasure has a significant impact on a child’s future socio-economic chances. Encouraging and nurturing reading for pleasure benefits the whole economy and country.
More information here
The current Waterstones Children’s Laureate is Cressida Cowell author of the How to Train your Dragon books. Her laureate charter is a powerful ten point action plan that champions the creativity, intelligence and empathy skills reading books nurtures. It’s a call to action for all of us to realise the magic of reading for everyone. You can download the charter here
EmpathyLab is the first organisation to build children’s empathy, literacy and social activism through a systematic use of high quality literature. Their strategy builds on new scientific evidence showing the power of reading to build real-life empathy skills. They believe that empathy is a beacon of hope in a divided world. They produce an annual Read for Empathy book collection and run an annual Empathy Day to shine a light on the power of reding to build empathy – it’s in 9 June this year.
More information here