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Why reading aloud to older kids is not just special, it's vital

When is a good age to stop reading stories aloud to children? Well, how about never? Alright, so what are the chances really of being tucked up beside our seventeen year old reading a bedtime story. But many believe that once children have…
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Notes from the Calais 'Jungle' - How can WE help?

The 'Jungle' migrant camp in Calais was recorded as being home to well over 10,000 people, a vast patchwork of people from the world over seeking a better life. As we are faced with an escalating number of disturbing images coming out of Syria…
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The 9 year old who read 100 books in a year

This is Lola Sanchez Farmar. She is the nine year old daughter of my great friends, Rebecca and Pablo. I recently discovered that between July 2015 and July 2016 Lola read a whopping 100 Books. I couldn't quite believe my ears. 100? Really?  Lola's…
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Hey you Baby Boomers out there....I need your help!

The year is 1967, Summer of Love. US troops are multiplying in Vietnam and anti-war protestors are taking to the streets in larger numbers than ever before.  Skirt lengths are shortening and tensions heightening in Israel with the explosion…
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Novel Number Three: The cave men and women from the 1960's

There are experiences in our young lives we look back upon with a fervent fondness that the passing of time does nothing to dampen. These experiences can last for mere days, perhaps several weeks, months or even years. I'm talking about those…
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Ignite your Fiction Fire: 5 Tips for Aspiring Writers

Sometimes, trying to write and get our work out there can feel like flailing around in the dark. It can be a fraught journey, littered with the skeletons of defeated writers: I'm not good enough. I don't have time. I need to stop living in my…
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How Kenya, land of contradictions, can inspire a novel

Kenya: land of contrasts and contradictions. Of startling beauty and crippling poverty. Of sincere kindness and rotten politics. Of a thousand-hued landscapes and unyielding poaching. I've lost count of the number of times I've been caught…
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Mau Mau: The Kenyan Terrorists of the 1950's...Or were they?

The Mau Mau terrorised Kenya in the 1950's, their long, dreadlocked hair and wild eyes sending citizens up and down the country and far beyond into a frenzy of fear. Medieval-style oathing ceremonies took place, enlisting the support of the…
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"If God had meant whites and blacks to mix, he would not have placed them on different continents.” What some mixed race couples faced to be together.

One of the major themes of my second novel, The Girl and the Sunbird, is forbidden love. Mixed race relationships were once an enormous taboo and, in some parts of the world, remain so. I wanted to explore the repercussions of this in a colonial…
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Win a small treasure: The Gifts of Reading

'This story, like so many stories, begins with a gift. The gift, like so many gifts, was a book...' So begins Robert Macfarlane's masterful and luminous essay, on the gift and power of giving and receiving books. This small, beautifully bound…