In July this year, Read Manchester launched the Bee Ready Bee a Reader Transition Read project, gifting a free copy of The Kid Who Came from Space by Ross Welford to over 7000 year 6 pupils in Manchester primary schools. The aim of this project was to encourage children to read over the summer while giving them shared reading experience amongst peers to help gain confidence during the transition to secondary school. More information about the Transition Read can be found here.

Now that we are in the autumn term, many children have finished reading their copies of The Kid Who Came from Space, so Read Manchester have teamed up with the book’s author Ross Welford to deliver 9 free sessions to year 7 pupils who received the book at the end of the last school year! The sessions took place in mid November and schools could choose from a creative writing or question and answer session.

Classes who chose creative writing worked with Ross to write their very own ‘Awesome openings’ to a story. Each child who took part finished the session with a first chapter! There were story openings about super strength grandmas, child-gobbling giants and meat-eating babies! It was amazing to use our imaginations together in this way. Here is an example of a first chapter from a story titled ‘The Baby who Saved the Day’, written by Eva during Ross’ session with the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital School:

‘When I opened my eyes, I knew I was in trouble. I was in trouble because my food wasn’t to my boss’ standards.

I knew straight away who could help: it was the baby in the room because he had never tasted food, so he knew what foods were good.

What happened next changed everything! The baby appeared with a pig and said that we could kill it and use it for pork. My meals from then on were great!’

Other classes chose question and answer sessions with Ross, during which they learned about Ross’ inspirations for his writing and what prompted him to become an author in the first place! Some classes plan to write a newspaper article based off the answers Ross gave in their session.

Students had many cheerful comments to share about the sessions. One student said ‘It was really fun because he made us laugh,’ while another explained ‘I really enjoyed writing an opening.’

Staff also gave really positive feedback, saying ‘It certainly was an engaging session and for them to see a ‘live’ author was really exciting for them.’

Read Manchester can’t wait to hear more from these creative and talented young readers and writers in the future!