Posted: Tue 13th Dec 2022

High School’s YouTube book advent calendar features top children’s authors each day

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Tuesday, Dec 13th, 2022


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A novel Christmas themed idea introduced at Flint High School last year to encourage students to experience the joy of reading has been relaunched with a surprise appearance from a top author every day.

The online advent calendar is the brainchild of Nicola Paulson, English teacher and literary coordinator, who wanted to build on the success of her first festive countdown to Christmas and bring the whole thing to life as a special treat for students.

Linking up with children’s author, Lucy Strange, who has worked with Mrs Paulson on previous projects, the pair reached out to authors asking them to send a video talking about their books and wishing people a Merry Christmas.

Mrs Paulson said: “I wanted to make the reading advent calendar I did last year bigger and better this year, as well as it being a way of making students and parents aware of some of the brilliant writers out there who they may not have heard of.  I wanted to inspire and help them to find the perfect book to gift this Christmas. People can also order any of the books into their local library too. 

“When I contacted Lucy to see what she thought of the idea, she loved it, but it was extremely hard to narrow down the writers to approach as we both love so many!  Lucy kindly made contact with the writers on behalf of us both and we received a hugely positive response.

“We were thrilled to get 25 fantastic authors on board, including SF Said with his new book,‘Tyger’,  which has just been awarded Foyles Children’s Book of the Year, and Emma Carroll who talks about her latest book ‘The Little Matchgirl Strikes Back’.   However, as Lucy explains in her introductory clip, the featured authors are just the tip of the iceberg, there are so many brilliant children’s authors to be discovered!”

Students are watching a video daily in English lessons, and teachers are sharing the link with other schools nationally via social media.  The authors involved have also shared it across their social media and it is hoped that publishers might do the same. Already, Mrs Paulson has heard of it being shown in local schools, as well as across the border in Chester and as far as Surrey.

Mrs Paulson added: “We are so pleased with the positive response to the video so far, and the students have loved seeing the reading advent calendar in a different format this year. 

“The books, along with many others, were available to buy, and some of them to win, at the pop up Christmas book shop we held in school last week for students, staff, parents and carers in conjunction with The Bookshop, Mold.  Many of the books have also been added to our school library for students to enjoy. 

“I would like to thank Lucy for her wonderful enthusiasm and help with getting this project off the ground, and a huge thanks to Alex Guntrip for his time and technical expertise to pull it together, upload the video to our school YouTube page, and make it a reality.

“We are all committed to developing reading for pleasure at the school and this concept is working well in generating lots of interesting ‘book talk’ among students.”

To view the Christmas Countdown to Brilliant Books 2022, visit: https://youtu.be/j8nQHnb2_6U

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