US author inspires young readers

Author Robin Stevens with William and May Lun from Cragside Church of England School.
Author Robin Stevens with William and May Lun from Cragside Church of England School.

Hundreds of children have been given an insight into the literary world, as well as a look at the next phase of their education.

Award-winning American-born author Robin Stevens – who is working on the sixth book in the Murder Most Unladylike Mysteries – visited Cramlington Learning Village.

She told students from Cragside, Hareside and Shanklea primary schools how she developed a love of adventure and mystery stories when she was very young.

It was at Cheltenham Ladies College where she started reading stories about Sherlock Holmes and Hercule Poirot.

Her books are set in the 1930s in a school based on Cheltenham Ladies College. Her detectives are pupils called Daisy and Hazel who, in the first story, investigate the murder of the science mistress.

Robin said: “My books are full of nice cakes and food, as well as deaths.”

Students from the town’s primary schools were invited to meet Robin during one of their transition visits to Cramlington Learning Village.

Caroline Bilton, the assistant head teacher at Cragside Church of England School, said: “It’s an incredibly beneficial experience for them and really whets their appetite for what’s to come for them at this school.”

Cramlington Learning Village has worked with Blackwell’s bookshop in Newcastle to organise the appearances of Robin and fellow writers including Alex Wheatle, Alex Scarrow, Siobhan Curham, and Abi Elphinstone.

Cramlington Learning Village librarian, Eileen Armstrong said: “It means every Key Stage 3 student has met at least one author this year.

“Our message is that it’s not just about reading for the sake of it, it’s about creating enthusiasm for reading and introducing students to a wide range of books they might enjoy.

“If students learn to love reading then their achievement will improve.”

Robin, who last month received an award for the best children’s crime novel, said: “I really like meeting fans and readers.

“Telling young people about books and getting them excited about detection is one of the best things I do.”