22 November 2017 View Event Photos
As part of participating in the Doncaster Book Award, Armthorpe Academy hosted a visit by the highly acclaimed YA and children’s author Anthony McGowan. Mexborough Academy as well as Hallcross Academy joined Armthorpe year 7 students to meet the author and to listen to him tell them about his books and how he became a writer.
Anthony started by speaking about his childhood and how he grew up in quite a deprived area of Leeds, he admitted he was a bit of a “geek” and this led to him being bullied at school. From Leeds he moved to a village not dissimilar to Armthorpe with a colliery nearby and just a short walk into open fields, it was the village of Sherburn-In-Elmet that gave him some of the ideas for his trilogy of books Brock, Pike and Rook.
Brock was the first book that Anthony spoke about; it deals with two boys whose mother is gone and whose father is in prison, the eldest boy looks after the youngest. The boys witness the senseless killing of an innocent animal which leads to them salvaging something very precious…
We were all absorbed when Anthony told us the story of “the bacon pond”, a pond from his childhood which was reputed to have all the waste from the local meat factory pumped into it, this being the inspiration for the monstrous pike in the story. He then read a chapter from the book which provoked both gasps and laughter from the engrossed audience.
After the talk an eager audience with a constant raising of hands kept Anthony answering some really well thought out and interesting questions about what inspired him and his life as a writer.
The day ended with Anthony discussing thoughts on books and future careers over lunch with selected Armthorpe pupils.
Lesley Hurworth, Librarian, Armthorpe Academy
Chair/Director Doncaster Book Awards Ltd