Inspirational children’s author Piers Torday visited campus this week to work with middle school students.
After his father wrote his first book at the age of 59 (Salmon Fishing in the Yemen), Mr. Torday felt inspired to reestablish himself with writing and attended an Arvon residential creative writing course at Ted Hughes' old house in West Yorkshire. There he began to write The Last Wild, which is about our environment and the natural world around us. The book was shortlisted for the Waterstones Children's Book Prize and the UK Literacy Association Award, as well as winning Stockton Children's Book of the Year and Calderdale Children's Book of the Year. The book has been sold all over the world and its sequel, The Dark Wild won the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize 2014. The third and final book in the series, The Wild Beyond, has just been published.
On October 7 and 8, Mr. Torday visited Grades 5 and 7 to present a colorful and elaborate portrayal of his life as a children’s author using a PowerPoint presentation. Photographs, sketches, and notes inspired many questions from the classes, including “How do you plan each chapter? How do you think of the plots? Which is your favorite character?” He then discussed how just a few sentences can turn into a book containing thousands of words by using imagination and patience. After class, students attended a book signing in the Middle School Library where they could purchase one of Mr. Torday’s books, including The Last Wild, The Dark Wild, and The Wild Beyond.