Book Clubs meet regularly at lunchtime in the library. Members discuss their current reading choices, share news of old favourites and recommendations for future reading. Book Club news features in our newsletters: 4th yr bookclub summer 2012 news
graphic novel 3 by Blanaid Ni Bhraonain
The award winning and highly acclaimed author, Claire Keegan, spoke to 4th Years today. Claire read from her recent book, Foster, which is a beautifully told story about a girl who goes to stay with relatives in the Irish countryside. Among other things, it is about trust, love and dignity. The image Claire had when writing the story, was of a hand over water.
When asked how she felt about being on the Leaving Certificate list for 2014 & 2015, Claire said she is delighted. For creative writers out there, Claire passed on some great wisdom:- Use suggestion, not statement; Show, don’t tell; The author should be everywere but not visible; Keep working on a piece until it reveals itself; Be specific; Write in pictures and with the senses. Claire also very kindly donated a signed copy of her books “Foster” and “Walk the Blue Fields” (1st edition) to the school library.
The author, Paula Leyden, spoke to 1st Years about her book, The Butterfly Heart which won the Eilis Dillon Award for best 1st novel in 2012. Paula talked about growing up in Africa and related snake stories that her father told her. She spoke about the characters in her book and what inspired her to write this book, which was that a school friend of hers disappeared when she was 15 and Paula and her school friends only found out afterwards that the friend had been sent 500 miles away to be married to a much older man. Paula said that it was very apt that she should be in Beaufort today as it was the 1st International Day of the Girl, whose focus this year is on child marriage. Her advice to young writers was to set aside 20 minutes per day to write and to watch and listen to everything! Paula posted information on her website about her Beaufort visit and she invites her readers to comment.
The diarist and author, Elizabeth (Betty) Swords, spoke to 4th Years in the library on the 11th of October. Elizabeth talked about her life growing up in Dublin in the 1950′s and 60′s, which was very different to the life of a teenager now.
She read from her autobiography, A Patchwork of Broken Pieces and shared stories about dress designing, dating and being a mother and grandmother. The students were
enraptured and Elizabeth urged them to keep a diary because you can write down events that you wouldn’t tell your best friend which can be very helpful. Also,it can be amusing to look back at events that are dramatic today but become memories in six months time. On a different note, Betty said that if you can sew you will never be short of money and that girls nowadays take more care designing their Debs dress than they do their Wedding Dresses!
1st Years met the award winning author Mary Finn in the new auditorium on Friday, 20th January. Mary talked about writing and where she gets her ideas from. She read from her more recently published novel, The Horse Girl, which, she admitted, is a love story set in England in the 18th century. The girls got very excited when she read an excerpt from her forthcoming novel – title undecided as yet –which is set in Paris in 1942. She shared some advice for budding authors in the audience:- “They say you have to kill off your favourites” – which she said is true when it comes to some descriptive passages; AND she believes that “Editors know best, … they really do”.
Mary very kindly donated two hardback copies of the American edition of her book, which is called Belladonna in the U.S. and these were raffled on the spot. The two lucky winners of the books are:- Aoife McEnaney and Chloe Cousins.
Anna Carey came to speak to 2nd Years on Wednesday, November 9th. Anna is a journalist whose first book for young adults, The Real Rebecca, was published by the O’Brien Press in 2011. Students promised to vote for Anna’s book, which was shortlisted for The Bord Gáis Irish Book Awards. At the awards ceremony on November 17th, The Real Rebecca won the award for Children’s Book of the Year Senior Category.
Author Becca Fitzpatrick from Colorado visited Beaufort on October 20th to speak to 5th Years about her writing. She recommends keeping a journal now, if you want to become a writer later. Her first book, Hush, hush, was a New York Times bestseller. Her latest title is Silence. Our thanks to Childrens Books Ireland for the introduction to Becca.
Holocaust survivor Tomi Reichental visited Beaufort on October 13th 2011. He spoke to to senior students about his experiences during the 2nd World War in Slovakia and his incarceration in Bergen-Belsen Concentration Camp. Afterwards, he signed copies of his newly published book in the library – I was a boy in Belsen, published by O’Brien Press.
Maggie Stiefvater Visit
There was a big surprise at Third Year Bookclub when the author of the book they had planned to discuss, Linger, to talk about her novel and experience as a writer. Students from other years were also invited and the occasion was deemed a huge success.
Sarah Webb’s visit to the 2nd year BookClub meeting on 26th February 2010 was a great success. She talked about her books and creative writing. She is currently writing the Amy Green, teen agony queen series.