Author’s visit to school is quite simply magical

Caption: Magical: Children's fiction writer, R J Anderson, signs copies of her books for Rossall year six pupils (l to r), Alex Eastham, 10, of Stalmine; Kathryn Salt, 11 from Thornton and Lydia Bannister-Nunn, 10, of North Shore, Blackpool.
Caption: Magical: Children's fiction writer, R J Anderson, signs copies of her books for Rossall year six pupils (l to r), Alex Eastham, 10, of Stalmine; Kathryn Salt, 11 from Thornton and Lydia Bannister-Nunn, 10, of North Shore, Blackpool.

CHILDREN at a Fleetwood school were left spell-bound by a magical visit to the area by one of children’s fiction’s most popular international authors.

RJ Anderson, best known for her fantasy fiction novels, Knife and follow-up, Rebel, paid a flying visit to see children at Rossall School, Fleetwood, during a whistle-stop UK tour to promote her latest book, Arrow.

Her best-selling books featuring Oakenwyld, the fantasy world of lost magic and high adventure, have won the Canadian author international acclaim.

And, during her visit to Lancashire she gained an army of new fans in Rossall’s junior school when she read excerpts from Arrow and talked to the schoolchildren about her love of literature and her literary influences, among them Lord of the Rings author, JRR Tolkien and The Chronicles of Narnia creator, CS Lewis.

The author was delighted with her Fleetwood welcome and praised Rossall’s children for their knowledge of children’s fiction.

She said: “It’s really gratifying to get such a response from young children and I was flattered that they knew my characters and stories, and were so enthusiastic about literature.

“Coming to a different country and finding fans is a fillip for any author, and if they were enchanted by my stories about fairies and magical kingdoms, I was equally enchanted by their welcome.”

The visit of RJ Anderson is one of a series of authors’ visits to the Fleetwood independent school and follows last year’s book signing by UK children’s writer Chris Riddell, author of The Edge Chronicles and Barnaby Grimes stories.

Whilst providing a great treat for the children the visits also serve an educational purpose, according to Rossall head of juniors, Katie Lee.

She said: “Having some of the world’s leading children’s writers here is very exciting for our children, but it also helps them to develop a love of literature and reading.”