Monday 13th March 2023

There was a certain sense of familiarity when I walked into the auditorium of the Delia School of Canada. I was there in 2017 when I presented The Boat Race. It was a pleasure to come back once again. I could see the curiosity in the children’s eyes and the smiles on their faces. Most were not wearing masks and I was relieved that they were able to see my face as I read to them.

The auditorium soon filled up with the cheery red coloured t-shirts and excited children. I was presenting to around 250 students from grades 4-6.

Reading the story of The Secret of the Golden Dragon

When King Kra realises that the pouch has been stolen by the Evil Explorers and taken to Hong Kong he once again asks Zack and Kante for help. Together with Ria, the King’s daughter they cross a mighty ocean and travel from Africa to Hong Kong. There they meet their contact Lee Ming who takes them to the Golden Dragon restaurant.

As I had expected, when the students heard about familiar places in Hong Kong like Ocean Park, there was excitement.

With the help of the animals of the Chinese Zodiac they are able to retrieve the pouch of love and kindness. When the Evil Explorers realise that they have been duped they declare war. The Six Snakes are deadly and experts in martial arts. By cleverly changing the pellets in their blow guns for pellets of love and kindness they not only win the battle but also infuse the Explorers and the Six Snakes with goodness.

Fun Quiz

We had a fun quiz after the reading and some of the questions were:

Do you know which zodiac animal you are?

What are the five elements of Feng Shui?

Q& A Time

As always I had some interesting questions at the end. I was asked what age I was when I published my first book. Without giving away my age I told the students that my first book, The Convent Rules was published in 2009. Another student asked me which my favourite book was from those I had published and this is always a difficult question for me to answer. With time and experience each book gets better but I am partial to The Boat Race as that’s where Zack and Kante started their very first adventure. I asked the audience the same question. From what they had heard so far which of the books would most appeal to them. The answer was, the one set in Europe, The Fallen TetraStars. I do hope to present it to them in the future. The fourth and last book in the series will be set in Egypt.

We spoke about what is needed to craft a good story. Choosing your characters and genre are important.

Overall, considering that this was one of their first author readings in the last three years the students were attentive and asked good questions.

I would like to say a big thank you to Shuchi Kumar, who has been the librarian at DSC International School for many years and to Rebecca Marans, Head Teacher at DSC for inviting me to their school. Thanks also to the tech support who helped me set up. Lastly a big thank you to the children for being an excellent attentive audience.