Top author inspires young readers and budding writers of the future

A best-selling author spoke to help encourage a love of reading and inspire the next generation of writers.

Tuesday, 11th June 2019, 4:00 pm
Updated Wednesday, 12th June 2019, 11:02 am
Bestselling children's author Dan Smith signs one of his books for Fens Primary School pupil Theo Ward.  Picture by FRANK REID
Bestselling children's author Dan Smith signs one of his books for Fens Primary School pupil Theo Ward. Picture by FRANK REID

Dan Smith, who writes adventure stories with a historical twist, chatted to more than 120 schoolchildren from across Hartlepool about his life and his new book She Wolf.

Enthusiastic pupils aged between nine and 11 from Eskdale, Fens, Grange, Rossmere and St Teresa’s primary schools took part in the event at Community Hub South in Wynyard Road.

He answered their many questions and signed copies of his books.

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St. Teresas Primary School pupils (left to right) Lucas Beddow, Cherry Hutchinson and Ewan McWilliam settle to read their books by Dam Smith. Picture by FRANK REID

Dan has written award-winning titles includin Big Game, Boy X and Below Zero.

His latest book She Wolf tells the story of a young Viking girl, Ylva, who is swept by a storm to England where she is orphaned and vows to avenge her mother’s death at the hands of a killer.

Dan said: “It seemed to go really well. They had loads of questions and they enjoyed it. I enjoyed it!

“Hopefully it gives them a little bit of excitement about books and hopefully try to bring stories to life.”

Bestselling children's author Dan Smith signs copies of his books for Fens Primary School pupils. Picture by FRANK REID

Dan, who lives in Newcastle, spoke about his childhood which involved going to boarding school before travelling the world and finding adventure in the paddy fields of Asia and the jungles of Brazil.

“Hopefully they feel a bit inspired by it,” he added. “That’s the intention they might be encouraged to get out and read something or try something.

“I’m sure the next Dan Smith or probably the next JK Rowling is sitting among the audiences that I go and talk to.

“It’s great that they want to do it and tell their stories.”

Primary School listen to bestselling children's author Dan Smith. Picture by FRANK REID

The talk was part of the Crossing the Tees book festival, organised by the Tees Valley libraries and community hubs in the area.

Dan revealed he does not have a favourite book and told the children it is ok not to finish a book if they are not enjoying it.

Councillor Sue Little, Chair of the council’s Adult & Community-Based Services Committee, said: “It’s well proven that meeting a writer face-to-face and hearing them talk about their books has a major impact on children’s interest in reading and writing, so we’re delighted to welcome Dan to Hartlepool.