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Claires Court

Claires Court Maidenhead

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Bookwanderers hang out virtually with favourite author Anna James

Pupils from Junior Girls recently enjoyed the opportunity to meet popular children's author Anna James when she dropped into the classroom for a virtual Q&A session this week (November 10). 

Year 5 girls were starstruck when the best-selling author of children’s series Pages & Co. Anna James joined them live for their lesson via Google Meet. After surprising super fan Evie with a signed copy of the latest book in the series ‘Tilly and the Map of Stories’, class teacher Jade Dockerill reached out to Anna to arrange a treat for the whole class and an opportunity for the pupils to ask some of their booky questions. 


Capturing the imagination of school children around the country, Pages & Co. follows bookwander Tilly as she falls into a story, meeting some famous literary faces along the way. Quickly becoming a class favourite, Anna James’ debut children's novel featured in the girls’ ‘Book World Cup’ during the last academic year which introduced them to lots of new books. Miss Dockerill commented: “Having really wanted Pages & Co to win the Book World Cup, Evie decided to get the book herself and really loved it. Her love of the story spread like wildfire which inspired other children and myself to read it. By the time Evie finished the second book, luckily, the third had just been released, in hardback and I managed to come across a signed copy which I decided to get her as a surprise, and hid in her desk”.  


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After sharing a video of Evie finding her signed book online, Miss Dockerill got in contact with Anna James to arrange a video chat with the pupils. Kept a surprise, the girls were asked to think of questions they could ask Anna over social media and were gobsmacked to see the author pop onto their classroom smartscreen. “They were completely starstruck. It was hilarious - she left the room a couple of times to get things to show them, and they exploded into excited chatter, but the second she was back they just completely froze in awe”, explained Miss Dockerill. Describing Anna James as her idol, Evie was inspired by the video call, saying: “It’s very emotional for me as it is my dream. I love to write and she answered my questions so now I know more”.

Claires Court Libraries Manager Paula added: “It was wonderful to see the girls so excited to meet an author hero of theirs and listen to their intelligent questions. The reading habit in Year 5 has obviously produced some enquiring minds! It's also affirming to see how essential it is for our children to be escaping into stories at this difficult time. Anna James's book - a book about books - shows that we all need the hope and adventure of stories in our lives”.

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