The inspiration of a reading challenge
One of the nicest things about being an Ambassador for the Victorian Premier’s Reading Challenge is meeting kids who love books as much as I do. This morning I visited Montmorency Primary School and met an amazing bunch of lively and passionate readers.
I was met at the school’s reception by Amber and Raoul. Raoul had the quiet, enigmatic charm of a deep reader. Amber, who is destined to become a writer, couldn’t stop smiling throughout the whole of our session together. She’s definitely a kindred spirit.
Every student in the class seemed to be connected to a story. Byron writes poetry, like his namesake Lord Byron. Tae Kwon Do champion Clare reminded me of Maeve from my novel The Secret Life of Maeve Lee Kwong. Bastian has just the same quirky magical energy as his namesake, the hero of The Never Ending Story. Imogen, who despite having a face like an angel, loved reading scary crime novels. The class was full of big personalities who would make great characters in any novel.
Each of the students told me about a book they loved. The depth and quality of their reading was impressive. From Tolkien’s The Hobbit through to Sonya Hartnett’s Children of the King these kids’ reading covered a huge spectrum of classy fiction. Most of the students have already finished far more than the 15 books they need to read to complete the challenge. Amber was already up to thirty five and she’s still got a whole month to go before the closing date of the Premier’s Reading Challenge on 10th September.
People often ask me where I find inspiration for my stories and why I write for children. If everyone had the chance to talk books with kids like the students at Montmorency Primary they wouldn’t need to ask.