Peter Murray Visits As Patron Of Reading

Published 29 September 2022

Last year we welcomed the wonderful children’s author, Peter J Murray, whose Mokee Joe series has been captivating students for nearly 20 years. The author spent an afternoon speaking to Year 7, signing his books and a few lucky students enjoyed a workshop with Peter working on their creative writing skills.

Following the success of the visit, we are delighted to announce that Peter has agreed to become St Bart’s Patron of Reading for this academic year and has already been back in school, enabling more students to benefit from his perspective as a published author.

On Monday he spent time with Year 8 students, discussing the theme of ‘places’ for story settings including places he has been and how they have inspired settings for books, notably his most recent book, Scabbajack. This is his seventh book and it recently won the ‘Stockton Children’s Book Award.’

Phoebe (8D2) said “His visit was very enjoyable, and it showed us how you can create a scary story if you use a good setting and some other important features. He explained where he got his ideas from for his characters and settings: for example, the house that he lived in – which was based as a house for the story’s main character (and the story’s villain). He also showed pictures of what life for children had been like when they worked in factories to give a sense of how hard life had been then and to show the daily trials they had to go through in the factory. This helped to give the ghost in the story more background and helped set the scene. Overall, it was a very interesting session.”

We hope that Peter will become a familiar face to students throughout the school, including visiting on World Book Day, judging writing competitions and working with students in writing workshops. We know that Peter will bring a great deal to this role, and we are excited to work together over the coming year. In his letter of acceptance to us he said, It is my intention to inspire as many of you as possible (if not everyone!) to pick up a book and read it for pure enjoyment. At the same time if I can inspire some of you to write exciting stories of your own, then that will give me even more pleasure believe me…your dreams can come true too! You can never be sure what is waiting around the corner for you – as long as it’s not one of the scary characters from my books!