S1 Book Talks – Other Times and Places and Books by Visiting Author Matthew Fitt – February 2019

Our book talks, during the week beginning 11 February, were all about Other Times and Other Places AND books by one of our soon-to-be visiting authors Matthew Fitt.

There has been lots of chat with classes and there was a very good discussion with class 1.5 about author Judith Kerr and about how her book When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit is still real and relevant today. This was followed by sharing opinions of reading & writing in Scots and the books by Matthew Fitt.

Reading out loud in Scots has been heard in the library and sharing Matthew Fitt’s books with S1 classes. We have all especially enjoyed Hercules: Bampots and Heroes. All about the 12 seemingly impossible trauchles set for Hercules. What a gallus, power-packed story, full of amazing illustrations too.

When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit by Judith Kerr

The story of Anna, who, with her brother, are rushed out of Germany in alarming secrecy, away from everything they know. Their father is wanted by the Nazis – dead or alive.

This semi-autobiographical and unforgettable story, of a Jewish family fleeing from Germany before the start of the Second World War is a classic and is a hugely relevant story, as much of our time, as it is of Hitler’s. Anna in 1933 was nine years old when it began, too busy to take much notice of political posters, but out of them glared the face of Adolf Hitler, the man who would soon change the whole of Europe – starting with her own small life. One day, Anna’s father was missing. Then she herself and her brother Max were being rushed by their mother, in alarming secrecy, away from everything they knew – home and schoolmates and well-loved toys – right out of Germany…

When people make wars, they make refugees. Now, with many wars, there is a greater amount of refugees than ever before. Anna’s experience of leaving home, her family and friends and of finding a new home in a different place, culture, and language, are the experience of so many children today. Through all the difficulties, Anna/Judith Kerr has found a way of finding her own voice.

The Explorer by Katherine Rundell

Winner of the Children’s Book Prize

Winner of the Costa Children’s Book Award 2017

Winner of the London Book Fair Children’s Travel Book of the Year

Longlisted for the CILIP Carnegie Medal

From his seat in the tiny aeroplane, Fred watches as the mysteries of the Amazon jungle pass by below him. He has always dreamed of becoming an explorer, of making history and of reading his name amongst the lists of great discoveries. If only he could land and look about him. As the plane crashes into the canopy, Fred is suddenly left without a choice. He and the three other children may be alive, but the jungle is a vast, untamed place. With no hope of rescue, the chance of getting home feels impossibly small. Except, it seems, someone has been there before them … to a ruined city, and to a secret. “Readers are plunged, quite literally into a wildly exciting adventure … Rundell’s rich, descriptive prose will transport her young readers to a mesmerising world where they can swim with river dolphins, eat a tarantula and discover a ruined city … One of our most talented writers for children” –  Observer, Children’s Book of the Week

Hercules Bampots and Heroes by Matthew Fitt

‘Zeus, high-heid-yin o the gods and heid-bummer o the universe, had a son, and he cawed this son Hercules’. So begins Matthew Fitt’s version of the ancient myth of Hercules, retold in the Scots language. When the great hero Hercules commits a terrible crime his father Zeus punishes him by making him the slave of his step-brother Eurystheus. To win his freedom back, Hercules must perform twelve seemingly impossible tasks or trauchles. Hercules has to use all his strength and cunning to defeat horrific creatures like the Nemean Lion and the Hydra, but not even he believes he can journey to Hades and come back alive with the fearsome dog Cerberus. Matthew Fitt’s gallus, power-packed words, along with Bob Dewar’s amazing illustrations, join together in a Scots re-telling of one of the greatest stories of all time.

Our soon –to-be visiting author Matthew Fitt has lived all over the world: Prague, New York and Sydney. He is a writer and teacher who goes to schools encouraging pupils and teachers to feel more confident in their use of the Scots language. We are hugely looking forward to his visit on 6 March.