I have mentioned before that I am going to publish my stories fr reluctant readers and I am now thinking about the sort information I need to give to anyone (especially teachers) who might want to buy them for their young people, young people who can read but don’t want to do so.
I would be most appreciative of any comments on the following, which I have written as a sort of introduction to my work which I would send to schools or other people who might want to buy and use my books:
Can’t read, won’t read… a problem… but CAN read, won’t read?
I solved the problem of KS4 students who were perfectly capable of reading but had got out of the habit of doing so by writing my own stories for them… quick, pacey, relevant and with each chapter ending on a cliff-hanger.
I was teaching bright, clever but disengaged young people not in main stream education; we had one year to turn them round and get them through their GCSE’s, but how to re-engage them? How to prepare them for the work needed to pass English with a good grade? Get them reading.
They might not want to open the set texts, but they did want to know who the sinister men in black were chasing Blue, they did want to know who shot the head of English, Harry King, and they did want to know what sort of monster lurked in Camel Wood and abducted young girls.
Blue is a fifteen year old in ‘Run, Blue, Run!’ Someone has trashed the trailer home where he lives with his father, someone is after him and it’s not the evil Goode twins after rent.
Jo-Jo has seen her English teacher taking money from a dodgy-looking man with a pony tail, then she finds him shot and bleeding on his classroom floor. Graffiti across the front of her parents pub warn her to keep quiet… she’s in danger. ‘Screaming King Harry’ starts with a shooting and ends with a deadly chase across town as Jo-Jo searches for answers.
Young people who are willing to opt back into GCSE work may struggle with the set tasks in examinations. ‘The Story of Rufus Redmayne’ is told through newspaper reports, myths, diaries, first and third person narrators, one-scene dramas, and conventional story-lines and offers different examples of pursuing a narrative, of telling a story.
Something is lurking in Camel Wood, something is killing local farmers’ sheep, ripping their throats out and leaving their entrails scattered in the field. Someone or something has abducted Rufus’s grandmother, and has chased him and his friend Naimh through the woods. Something has taken Naimh…
I have been head of department in an inner-city Manchester school, head of faculty in a large comprehensive in Oldham, and for the last ten years teaching in a KS4 PRU in Weston-super-Mare. I wrote these stories for my students, and now I am able to share them with you.