Highlights for schools

22nd June 2001 at 01:00
An expanded schools schedule at the Edinburgh International Book Festival, devised by the children's programme director Marc Lambert, offers more than ever for teachers from August 20-27.

Not only can teachers and classes attend weekday author sessions in Charlotte Square Gardens, but they can also visit a free exhibition of children's illustrators across the road at the National Trust for Scotland and take part in Celtic storytelling sessions and workshops with writer Vivian French.

To accompany the exhibition, there will be masterclasses for artists and students by Jane Ray, Debi Gliori, Jackie Morris, Ian Beck and Harry Horse.

For children, two leading artists will run workshops on the literary theme of "Mythical Creatures". Jonny Boatfield will create a magical Imagination Chamber, and Serena de la Hey will weave a 20ft Harry Potter dragon in the gardens with assistance from the wizard's young fans.

Evening events for teachers to look out for include a talk on "Improving Standards in Writing for 7 to 11-year-olds" by Pie Corbett, a prolific author and former primary headteacher and schools inspector who was involved in writing parts of the national literacy strategy in England. He has a specific interest in the relationship between teaching grammar and developing narrative writing style.

"(Un)arranged Marriage" with Bali Rai will allow teachers and teenagers to discuss with this first-time novelist a fast-paced, ip-hop style book which has been hailed as "a manifesto for freedom in a multicultural world". It tells the story of a boy who grows up in Leicester and rebels against the Punjabi and Sikh culture of his family, in particular his arranged marriage.

Several events this year target teenagers. There will be a chance to hear about the best writing for young people as award-winning author Tim Bowler joins the Youth Libraries Group panel for the Carnegie and Greenaway Medals to discuss some of their favourite shortlisted books.

"Writers as Readers" sessions will include Gillian Cross, Rachel Anderson and Theresa Breslin; Tim Bowler, Terence Blacker and Julie Bertagna; and Jamila Gavin and Stephen Law.

One of the festival highlights is "Myth, Magic and Metamorphosis", in which Marina Warner, Melvin Burgess and Philip Pullman discuss the use of myth and legend in their recent work.

For younger readers, there is a Saturday treat in store when Allan Ahlberg joins pupils from three Edinburgh primary schools for a recital of his poems set to music and "general poetry fun".

Other weekend sessions for young children feature Laurence Anholt, Jane Hissey and Julia Donaldson, and Shirley Hughes will make a rare visit on August 18.

For details of the schools schedule, sponsored by TES Scotland, and other children's events, contact Marc Lambert, tel 0131 228 5444, e-mail marc@edbookfest.co.ukwww.edbookfest.co.uk

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