Author, actor, former singer, comedian and TV writer Charlie Higson was in Winchester recently, sparking imagination with a talk about the latest book in his best-selling zombie-adventure series for teenagers.
Over 400 young teens from 36 schools across Hampshire including pupils from Harrow Way School in Andover, listened intently as one of the biggest names in children’s literacy spoke about the fifth and terrifying part of The Enemy series, The Fallen.
Charlie also shared with them how he got into writing at the age of ten and his route to becoming one of the most successful children’s authors of all time.
The event in The Guildhall was organised by Hampshire County Council’s School Library Service to help inspire more teens to read for pleasure. Students commented on how passionate Charlie was and many went away captivated enough to want to read more in the series.
Hampshire County Council’s Executive Member for Culture, Recreation and Countryside, Cllr Keith Chapman, said:
“Authors like Charlie Higson really inspire children to put down their computer games and pick up a book. It’s events like these that make reading really popular with this age group and I can’t stress enough how important it is for children to read, not only to improve their literacy skills and reach their full potential, but to spark their imagination.”
Giving children the opportunity to meet an author has a huge impact on their reading habits. Children’s Laureate, Malorie Blackman, said:
“With over two decades of first-hand experience regarding school visits, I have seen and learnt for myself just how much of a difference author and illustrator visits can truly make. Such visits inspire not just reading and writing, but also fire a child’s imagination and lead to previously reluctant readers actively seeking out stories.”