Inspire a love of reading in even the most reluctant pupils
A few months ago, a woman contacted me through my publisher. Her sons had brought home some of my Mystery Mob books and she wondered if I was the same Roger Hurn who had taught her in South London back in the 1970s. I told her I was, and that I remembered her, too.
That school wasn't the easiest place to start a teaching career. It was in a tough neighbourhood - some of the children had parents who were gangsters and, tragically, during my time there, two children were murdered by their father.
We met up for a chat about old times and she told me something that moved me very much. "We all loved how much you loved telling stories and that made us love them, too," she said. It made me proud to think that my stories had had such a positive effect, and it reminded me again how important teachers are when it comes to inspiring a love of reading in their pupils.
Everywhere I go, I see teachers bringing books and stories to life. I try to use my author visits to help them, particularly when it comes to reluctant learners, who were the inspiration for my Mystery Mob (MM) books. There are six MM characters, which makes it easy for children to find one they identify with. The MM has the kind of adventures children wish they could have themselves. Pupils have told me they imagine being part of my "mob" and make up their own stories.
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