Author praises Cramlington schools on visit to High School

An author, who writes books in her caravan, has renewed her connection with schools in Cramlington.

Chloe Daykin has just published her second novel for children – The Boy Who Hit Play – and came to Cramlington Learning Village at the start of a marathon nationwide book tour.180712a_005

She has previously worked on projects with children at Cragside, Eastlea and Hareside Primary Schools and praised the approach of the town’s teachers, librarians and students.

“It’s strange how the connection with Cramlington has emerged.  It’s because of the positive vibe in the schools, really,” she said.

She was the tenth writer to visit Cramlington Learning Village this academic year, following some of the best-known writers of young adult fiction – such as Cathy Cassidy and David Almond.

Like David Almond, Chloe is based in the region – she lives with her husband and children in Hexham – and other writers who have visited the school this year, including Ross Welford, Laura Steven and Piers Torday, also have strong North East connections.

“There’s a really healthy writing scene here and it’s growing,” said Chloe. “That’s great because it can be a bit London-centric.  We’re nicely different – there’s a very good range.”

Cramlington Learning Village librarian Eileen Armstrong said it was valuable for the students to hear from authors who both come from the North East – and like David Almond and Ross Welford – also set their stories here.

“It certainly helps them relate to the writers and their work.  One of the main aims of these visits is to foster the enthusiasm our students have for reading, and that’s certainly demonstrated by the numbers who queue up to have the authors sign a book they can keep,” she

The Boy Who Hit Play was inspired by Chloe’s travels around Norway.  Her next book, due to be published next summer, follows a research trip to Peru.  But the task of writing her novels takes place much closer to home – in a caravan parked outside her house, surrounded by her cats.

“I just wanted a space that was separate from my home life so I could get my thoughts together better.  So I can think about that and not being in the house washing socks,” she said.180712a_019

Four more authors are already booked to come to Cramlington Learning Village in the Autumn term, meanwhile – said the school’s librarian – the students will be kept busy during the summer holiday reading all the books they have bought this year.