Friday, 28 November 2014

When Steve Cole Visited Charters school

Report by Hugo Webster, Year 7

When I first heard there was a new ‘Young Bond’ book being published I thought of the author Charlie Higson and I searched for it online - it said Steve Cole was the author and I thought “who’s he?” I was excited but anxious - was he going to be as good as Charlie Higson….?

I received the book a couple of days before Steve’s visit and was enthralled…

On Monday 10th of September Steve Cole came to Charters. At second break I queued to get my book signed (I had only got to page 76 and boy it was good!). A group of Bond lovers surrounded Steve and we had our picture taken.

Finally fifth period arrived and the wait was over! I saw streams of people heading for the hall and I managed to get a front row seat - a perfect view to see him. He stepped out and introduced himself, then explained how he had written Astrosaurs and Cows In Action. He’d worked as an editor for a magazine company before he became a full time writer.

He told us about the day that would change his life….. the day, when he’d finished his lunch as he was walking out of the restaurant his assistant phoned him and told him that the Ian Fleming Foundation had picked him to write the new books.

After that he showed us some spy gadgets: he had binoculars where one of the eye pieces was a flask (for when you are spying on someone and you need a drink) - he also had a gun keychain that was a lighter for when you are out in a forest and you need to make a fire.

Following the gadgets that he showed us Steve went on to talk through the first chapter of the book and tell us about the characters; James Bond, the teenage boy, expelled from Eton, never to trust again. Hugo Grande a dwarf that doesn’t like classes but loves skiving. Boudicca (Boody) Pyre a girl that will take machines apart to her heart’s content and Dan Solomon, a boy who found a film reel, the reel that someone is willing to kill for. These friends all went to Dartington Hall.

Steve highlighted that as it was the anniversary of Ian Fleming’s first film when he was picked to write the stories that it would be a good idea for the group of friends to visit Hollywood as part of the plot. First, as always, he had to run it past Ian Fleming’s remaining family. Then he told us about their mode of transport, the LZ 127 Graf Zeppelin. A key part of the story, it was a German-built and operated airship which actually operated commercially from 1928 to 1937. The airship was named after the German pioneer of airships, Ferdinand von Zeppelin, who was a count (Graf) in the German nobility.

Even though I had read it, hearing him inject so much life and passion into the story I wanted to read the rest there and then.

To conclude he played a game. He had a target and two Nerf guns, he picked two contestants by telling us a riddle and whoever got the riddle right played against each other, he used the lipstick to mark the darts. The first person to fire hit the third ring out from the center of the target and when the second person fired she hit near the middle of the ‘O’ in BOND at the top of the card board target. When Steve had his turn he pulled out a bigger Nerf gun and blew the target away.

Information On Steve Cole
Steve was born in 1971 and was brought up in rural Bedfordshire. One of the reasons he loves being an author is because he can lounge around wearing pyjamas all day but when he starts to write something he can’t stop.

Monday, 9 June 2014

Wonder of Words Young People's Literary Festival 2014

Update: Tickets will be available to buy on the door.

Update 2: Not been to a book festival before? If you are in any doubt about the effect such an event can have on a child, one of our parents said of last year’s event and the impact it had on her reluctant reader son:
Finding books to turn my son on to reading, and more importantly to keep him reading, has been a challenge. Horrid Henry came and went; Beast Quest became a favourite; and then of course there’s Harry Potter. But what next…?
We came to last year’s WoW Festival and Hugo was captivated. Listening to the authors talk about themselves, how they wrote and where their inspiration came from, opened up a whole new world. They made characters come alive, settings more real and ignited a new passion… he’s nearly finished Metawars and cannot wait for this Saturday.

On Saturday 5 July Charters School will be holding its second young people's literary festival. Read on to find out more about the event, the authors who will be appearing and how you can get tickets. Alternatively, you can download the festival programme by clicking here. The programme also contains a handy ticket order form for you to use.

Last year we held Wonder of Words, our first young people's literary festival. It was a great success and so we decided we would repeat it this year, again in conjunction with the school's annual summer fair, with all the great stalls, games, live music and food that people have come to expect from a Charters School summer event,  but with a slight difference. That difference is WOW!

For our second Wonder of Words Young People's Literary Festival we have again managed to provide a brilliant line-up of author events, featuring some of the hottest authors currently writing for children and young adults. We are very excited to be hosting Jane Elson, Jim Smith and Jeff Norton and we believe we have a programme which has a little something for everyone.


Jane Elson 12-1.00pm

After performing as an actress and comedy improviser for many years, Jane fell into writing stories and plays. A Room Full Of Chocolate is her debut novel for readers of 8 +  and she is currently working on her second novel, Jump, for readers of 9+.

When she is not writing Jane spends her time running creative writing and comedy improvisation workshops for children with special educational needs. She is also a guest practitioner at Soho Theatre’s Writer’s Lab.

writing A Room Full Of Chocolate Jane ate a lot of chocolate in the name of research and spent most of her time trying to peer round her one eyed, raggedy eared cat Larry, whom she adopted from the Celia Hammond Trust  and who insists on standing in front of the computer screen.

Jim Smith 1.30-2.30pm

The I Am (Not) A Loser series is fast becoming a humour classic. Barry Loser has never minded his name…not until horrible Darren Darrenofski joins the school. Now he’s completely ruining Barry’s life and Barry is determined to prove that he’s absolutely not a loser! These brilliant books from top talent Jim Smith are packed full of silly humour, quirky plots and doodles.

Barry Loser writes: 'Jim Smith is the keelest kids' book comma putter and page numberer in the whole wide world amen. He graduated with first class honours (the best you can get) and went on to create the branding for a sweet little chain of coffee shops. He also designs cards and gifts under the name Waldo Pancake.' 

I Am Still Not a Loser was awarded the Roald Dahl Funny Prize 2013 for ages 7-14.

Jeff Norton 3.00-4.00pm

Jeff Norton is an author and producer. He creates compelling characters, amazing stories, and immersive worlds for all ages, in all media. He is the author of the high-tech thriller MetaWars series from Orchard Books and the upcoming humour series Memoirs Of A Neurotic Zombie from Faber Children’s. Through his production company, AWESOME, Jeff is also currently producing a pre-school television show, developing his first feature film as writer-director, and co-writing books with other talented authors.


There is no charge for entry to the Summer Fair, but we are making a small charge for each of the author events. Tickets for each author event are only £4 for adults and £2 for under 18s. All children under the age of 11 must be accompanied by a ticket buying adult.

Tickets can be purchased by post by sending a cheque for the correct amount made payable to Charters School. Please ensure you state clearly the event(s) you wish to purchase tickets for. Your tickets will be posted to you free of charge or, should you prefer, your tickets will be held at the school for collection on the day of the festival.

All cheques should be sent to:

WOW Festival, Charters School, Charters Road, Sunningdale, Berkshire. SL5 9QY

Books and Signings

We will be selling books after each event and there will be an opportunity to meet each author and get your books signed. Unfortunately we will not have credit card facilities on the day and we will only be accepting cash or cheques for book purchases. You are welcome to bring books you already own for signing.

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to email or call the school on 01344 624826

The Summer Fair

As mentioned above, the summer fair part of the day is completely free to enter, and there will be plenty going on for all of the family to keep you occupied between the author events, including:

Indian food stall
Tea and cakes

Silent auction
Amazon voucher raffle
Chocolate tombola

Bouncy castle
Sumo suits
Games, games and more games

Second hand book stall
All kinds of other stalls 

Live music