Now to your recent letters:
Most were about Street Child, like the very welcome package from Garden City Academy in Letchworth. One pupil, Jessica, asked “What would happen if you wrote another book about the street child?” Well, I did Jessica. It’s not about Jim but about his sisters, Emily and Lizzie. It’s called Far From Home, and I do hope you read it one day!
Also about Street Child came a folder of very enthusiastic letters from Cheetah Class at Staverton Primary School. They filled the pages with great illustrations, too.
Years 5 and 6 of Dulwich College presented me with a folder of great letters about Street Child. They certainly enjoy history at Dulwich! Here they are writing new chapters for Treason when I visited them as part of their Tudor celebrations.
Callum Murray from Gardenrose Primary School in Maybole sent a lovely letter to say he liked Street Child so much he’s thinking of reading more of my books. I hope you do, Callum!
I visited Kensington School in Liverpool on what is fast becoming an annual visit, and here the children were about to launch into Street Child. I also received letters about Street Child from White Woman Lane Junior School in Sprowston.
Many of your letters are about Street Child, and I’m always delighted to hear when someone had dressed up as one of the characters for World Book day. Noah Noblet from Norwich has sent me this great photo of himself dressed as Jim Jarvis from Street Child. I’m so glad you enjoyed the book, Noah!
Children from Fountains Primary School Morley, and Ariel, Shadya and Asma from the wonderfully named Lumbertubs Primary School in Northampton, thank you for your beautifully written and illustrated letters and words of wisdom about Street Child.
Also thank you to Molly Buxton, from Rawtenstall, who wrote to say how she loves The Starburster Stories. Oh, I'm so pleased, Molly!
And I was delighted to hear from Years 3 and 4 from St John’s Primary School, Wallingford, who wrote amazing stories inspired by Blue John. Their teacher Isobel Curley wrote: “My children have never been more engaged with a class story before, or so enthused and excited by discussions about characters, motives and plot predictions.”
Thank you also to the many teachers who tweeted links to their children’s work based on my books. They are a great pleasure to me.
In my last newsletter I mentioned that I had received a poem from Tamara Muroiwa (nee Bloom). She had written it in her teens, basing it on my novel The Snake Stone, and now I’m pleased to say that Tamara has given me permission to share it with you.
And I thought it was just another day;
Went in the barn, ignored the boy within.
The children had gone to the stream to play,
And I went up the hill to fetch them in.
I saw his face and memories stirred inside,
The happy memories of long ago;
The pain of when they left and mother died;
The things I couldn't let my family know.
He rummaged through his bag, and out it fell;
Just lying there, my small, round, precious gift.
Silently I begged a promise, bade farewell
To the one I’d carried far through snowy drift.
Then he arrived, the one whom I had wed;
I turned, and from my secret life I fled.
Tamara Bloom, 1998/9
I also received imaginative and spine-chilling follow-on chapters from Alua, Max and Sasha, all from Haileybury School in Kazakhstan. It’s great to hear from readers from so far away – and I had a very enthusiastic letter from Eduard Revenko, from Novocherkassk in Russia. He is chair of the town’s book club, and particularly loves Dear Nobody, Granny was a Buffer Girl and Children of Winter. Thank you Eduardo, and send my good wishes to your members.
My star letter this time is from Alexandra Budeanu from Short Wood Primary School in Telford. I really love this letter Alexandra, it made me smile a lot! and here it is. I’m sending you a copy of the new edition of Treason, and I hope you enjoy it as much as you enjoyed Street Child!
Dear tentans (tenants?)
I believe you are living in one of Mr Spink’s rooms. My name is Ann Jarvis. I used to live with my family in the same room but I got turned out because I didn’t have any shillings to pay my rent. Anyway, I’m just writing to inform you about Mr Spink. At first he sins (seems) like a nice old man. But as time passes you will find out that he’s nothing b8t a disrespectful and greedy man. I know that we don’t know each other but I’m trying to look out for you. He does things that are rude, selfish and unkind. If you have children I suggest you keep tham away from him. He used (to) treat mine like garbage and with no manners. That were so scared that they couldn’t talk.
Please consider my words and keep an eye out for Mr Spink.
This letter was writtn by Alexandra Budeanu from Short Wood Primary School.
‘I love Street Child’ - comment from Alexandra!
Thank you Alexandra. Your signed copy of Treason is in the post.