Sunday 13 July 2014

Patron of Reading

Hello blog people!
Sorry I haven’t updated in a while – I’ve had deadlines and talks and the small matter of a Panini World Cup sticker album feud with my so-called best friend, Fat Barry.

Anyway, now I’ve got five minutes, I’m going to blog about something super important: reading.

No, not Reading, reading.

Reading is magic. It is the best thing you can do with your brain. It sparks your imagination and has the power to change your life.

When I was a kid, my favourite book was Matilda by Roald Dahl. It is about a gifted young girl born into a horrible family. Eventually, she realises she has the power of telekinesis – she can move things with her mind. I loved it. Immediately after reading, I ran outside and tried to see if I had the power, too. As soon as Jackson Thorax from the estate up the road went past me doing a wheelie and didn’t fall off, I knew I didn’t. But you see, that is the power of reading.

It is for this reason that I was dead chuffed to have been asked by Gosford Hill School near Oxford to be their Patron of Reading. My brief is to help encourage the pupils there to read more and try my best to promote it as the fun, magical activity we all know it is.

Luckily, the school is already doing an amazing job – the Learning Centre is fantastic and crammed with every book you could ever possibly want.

Except this one.

On the 25th June, I visited Gosford Hill and spoke to a group of Year Nine pupils.

You might say they look bored, but I'm going with 'entranced.'

I spoke a little bit about how I became an author and about stories in general. We even came up with our own story outline and had a bit of a joke competition.

This was the winning entry. Unbelievable.

Also, Mrs Hedges, the Learning Centre Manager put out free books that the students could take home and keep. BOOKS! FOR FREE! NOWT! I restrained myself and didn’t nick any, you’ll be pleased to hear, but it was difficult.

I also signed a few copies of my own book, but to be honest, I’d have signed other books if they’d have wanted. I’ve been told I forge a good Anthony Horowitz.

I’m looking forward to promoting reading more at Gosford Hill and I’ll be following this post up with a list of my top summer reads.

This is not one of them.

If anyone from Gosford Hill is reading this, I’d be interested to know what your recommended reads are. You can get in touch in the comments here, at my Facebook page, or at my website

Patron of Reading
Gosford Hill School


  1. Looking forward to hearing how your 'patronship' develops. Enjoy it!

    1. Thank you very much, Jon. It's all quite exciting!