On the road with Phil Earle

The Scottish Friendly Children’s Book Tour visited secondary schools in Falkirk, East Ayrshire and South Ayrshire this November with the fantastic young adult author Phil Earle.

Everyone is a reader, whether they are reading comics, classic fiction or posts on Facebook.

Phil’s award-winning novels are inspired by real stories and real people. His first job after university was as a care worker in a residential kids' home, an experience which influenced his first two novels, Being Billy and Saving Daisy.  Throughout the week Phil encouraged pupils to be aware of the stories that surround them every day; in newspapers, on TV, and hidden behind every front door. He spoke about the children’s books which inspired him at the age of 26 to become a writer and how everyone is a reader, whether they are reading comics, classic fiction or posts on Facebook.

Image copyright Alan Peebles

The schools we visited had created some fantastic projects to start a buzz about Phil’s visit and get their pupils excited about reading. A group of S2 boys from Kyle Academy recreated the opening scene from Heroic in their school playground, staging a mock robbery of a white van which happened to be parked outside their classroom window! Graeme High School used the event to kickstart a week-long school-wide celebration of reading, and a group of pupils from St Mungo’s Academy interviewed Phil for their school radio in their own state of the art recording studio!

Phil in action at Kyle Academy

Reluctant readers and budding authors alike were left inspired and couldn’t wait to read more of Phil’s books, with school librarians reporting empty shelves and huge waiting lists to borrow  Phil’s books after his visit.

Fuelled by Tunnock's caramel wafers and 90s dance classics, over the course of the week Phil met over 1500 pupils from 12 different schools and smashed the record for book sales on a secondary school tour – a brilliant indication of how inspiring his sessions were, even for the most reluctant readers!

A huge thank you to Phil for a brilliant week of events and to all of the fantastic pupils and staff who we visited for their energy and enthusiasm.

Check out more photos and stories from the tour on our Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Read Phil's great blog on writing dialogue, and get our learning resources on his books here.