Children’s author backs Books for Schools campaign

Carleton Rode school for the launch of the EDP book tokensByline: Sonya DuncanCopyright: Archant 201

Carleton Rode school for the launch of the EDP book tokensByline: Sonya DuncanCopyright: Archant 2018 - Credit: Sonya Duncan

Schools across the region are counting down the days until our Books for Schools campaign is officially launched.

Carleton Rode school for the launch of the EDP book tokensByline: Sonya DuncanCopyright: Archant 201

Carleton Rode school for the launch of the EDP book tokensByline: Sonya DuncanCopyright: Archant 2018 - Credit: Sonya Duncan

A degree in pathology, a PHD in genetics and a successful series of science themed children's books, Mandy Hartley is an authority on how literacy can help pupils across a spectrum of subjects.

Her series, the DNA Detectives, has been helping primary school teachers tackle tricky science topics since its release in 2017.

The wordsmith scientist said: 'My books provide the hook to start the ball rolling.

When children read they are building their vocabulary, problem solving and finding places to go to for information. These are the building blocks for future careers.'


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According to Dr Hartley, one of the most important skills children attain from reading is the ability to focus for prolonged periods of time.

She fears that if reading does not remain a priority in primary schools, children could suffer concentration issues and find it harder to deal with difficult emotions.

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She said: 'If children read books from a young age it helps their attention span and builds key vocabulary.

For children that are having a hard time books are a way to take them away from problems. If you take books away you might see less happy kids.'

Favourite children's book

'Enid Blyton's Five go to treasure Island. I loved the idea of them going on an adventure to an island – plus there was secret tunnels!'

Favourite illustrator

' Jamie Maxwell, who illustrated my books. My characters are based on my children and dog, and he brought them to life.'

Favourite line from a children's book

'This was definitely not the end of the 'DNA Detectives. No this was just the very start of their adventures!' From her own book 'The DNA Detectives - To Catch a Thief'.

Which children's story would you love to live in?

'Narnia.'

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