Rhian Tracey relishes the wonder of wolves and the power of Brecht

30th January 2004 at 00:00
Best book

I review for a children's books website (www.cbuk.info) and I've recently read The Wolves in the Walls by Neil Gaiman. It is wonderful, heartwarming and beautiful to look at. The illustrations (see above) by Dave McKeon are eerie and enchanting. The book is about a girl who is scared that the saying "When the wolves come out of the walls it's all over" will come true. It's really about a child conquering her nightmares, with appeal for adults.

Best film

Peter Jackson has done a wonderful job with The Lord of the Rings. He has inspired lots of boys, in particular, to read the novels. The trilogy isn't for me, but I loved the intricacy of the films and attention to detail.

Best on stage

I took a theatre studies group to Brighton to see an exciting production of The Good Person of Setzuan by Bertolt Brecht. It was fantastic. The stage was lit by a generator powered by an actor riding a bike on stage, and the audience was asked how certain scenes should run.

Best resource

I play Radio 4's Desert Island Discs to a class, then get them to compile their own list of favourite CDs and present them as part of a speaking and listening assessment.

Treat in store

Taking part as an author in the Reading is Fundamental scheme run by the National Literacy Trust in association with Borders bookshops. A primary school class gets to spend a morning with an author in the bookshop talking about reading and writing. The children are given pound;5 to spend on a book. It's an inspirational project: those who take part are struggling with literacy or wouldn't normally go to a bookshop.

Rhian Tracey, 27, is head of drama and teaches English at Magdalen College, an 11-18 school in Brackley, Northamptonshire. She has published a novel for teenagers, When Isla meets Luke meets Isla (Bloomsbury Children's Books), with a forthcoming sequel, Isla and Luke: make or break?. A third novel, The Book Club, is due next year, and she is writing a novel for adults. Details of Reading is Fundamental at www.rif.org.uk. She was talking to Elaine Williams

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