Peter J Murray Author Visit

Published 30 March 2022

We were delighted to welcome the children’s author Peter J Murray to St Bart’s last Thursday and Friday.  Pete is the author of the Mokee Joe series that have been captivating students for nearly 20 years. Pete kindly gave us his time to talk to Year 7 and students from St Nicolas and John Rankin Schools about his life and his writing – students were captivated by his conversational style, friendly manner, and varied life. They particularly enjoyed hearing his inspiration was often the darker elements of nursery rhymes, alongside his upbringing in South Yorkshire and his travels far and wide.

 After Thursday’s talk, there was a huge buzz in the Library at lunch time as students lined up to have books signed by him, many of whom had chosen a ‘space bun’ hair style inspired by Molly – one of the characters from his books.  A few students also spent Friday afternoon being further inspired in a workshop, where they were able to ask him loads of questions and get advice on their own creative writing. 

Before Pete Murray visited our school, I hadn’t read any of his books. He was very funny on stage and read small extracts. I was one of the lucky ones who got the chance to go to a special workshop with Peter J Murray after he talked to us in assembly.   We had to go to the library, just a few Year 7’s and got a chance to meet Peter and ask him questions. He was funny and inspiring. He introduced his wife who was also there and told us about his life and his children. I asked “what was the best book you had written?” he wanted to say his first ever book ‘Mokee Joe Is Coming’, but he felt that ‘The Bonebreaker’ was his best book so far. I then asked him “are you still writing books?” and he said yes of course. We then went onto write something ourselves, a random character, we had to describe and draw our character, mind was called Harold! We had help from some other older students. I had not heard of Peter J Murray and his books before this but his visit to the school and the workshop I got to go to, has inspired me to read his books and I have a signed copy of ‘Mokee Joe is Coming’ which I can’t wait to start.”:

Heyden Cohen, (7P1)