Selection of some articles and presentations with key themes outlined.
Articles / Features
Researching Remembrance Shelf Life (2002)
(see also the Remembrance Research page)
Sharing Books and Stories with your Child
Renfrewshire Libraries - Sharing Stories
"When they grow up, children won't remember if their pyjamas were ironed or not when they went to bed, but, they will remember if they were told a story."
"choosing a book to read aloud… look for the Rs… Rhythm: Repetition: Raucous noises: Rattling good yarns: Riotous: Restful: Rib-tickling: Rhymes: inteR-active"
Times Educational Supplement 2/1/1998
Turning the Page
Read! Autumn 1997
Easy Reads, Queasy Reads… or What?
An appraisal of the development of storybook ranges with reference to reading differences in children
Publishers' supplement (Peters Bookselling Services 1997)
Rainbows arc inside me, says Solomon, the dyslexic boy in Whispers in the Graveyard. But Solomon's ideas abort, crushed because of his lack of skills in literacy. He is unable to write down the thoughts inside his head, which leaves him frustrated and angry. And, also, he cannot read ... Writing Whispers in the Graveyard seemed to crystallise my work both as a writer and a librarian. Books are prisms, diffracting the light from the minds of others, sending the colours flashing into our own.
And Solomon isn't daft. He knows what he's missing. The stories. He heard poetry on the radio once… the words stayed with him for weeks afterwards, searing his mind, thrusting and twisting in his gut.
Children ask me "Is this your book, did you write this?"
Yes I wrote it, and in that sense it is my book. But as soon as it is in print it's yours. The books, each one of them; the words, the stories, they belong to the reader.
So that rainbows can arc inside all of us.
Presentations / Papers
Strathclyde University - Faculty of Education, 2005
Boys, Reading, and Citizenship
Edinburgh Book Festival 2004
Power of Place: Landscape and Location in Theresa Breslin’s Remembrance and Saskia’s Journey.
British Council Hong Kong, 2003
Next Generation Series
Seminars for Primary and Secondary students, and for Teachers and Parents
ECIS (European Conference International Schools) Berlin 2002
Presentation on Remembrance: Fact to Fiction.
From author’s research notes, including photographs, letters, newspapers, journals of the time.
International Reading Association Congress, Edinburgh 2002 Children's
Origins: Background and Relevance to Today's World
North Lanark Education Department Parents Conference on Literacy, April 2002
Imagination and Logic in Stories
University of San Francisco & USBBY Reading the World Conference,
Writing for Children, A Sense of Place
"Where young people are concerned author talks can be an enabling process for them as readers and writers. It presents a valuable opportunity to discuss their individual responses to a story and how they bring their own experiences to that story… How their own writing can validate their life experiences, culture, heritage etc and the importance of finding their voice…"
Institute of Human Relations, Glasgow 2000
Carnegie Day, Brighton & Hove 2000
The Challenge to Today's Writer of Children's Fiction
Children, Participation and the Arts, Edinburgh 1999
Enabling Children to Expression in Literature
Association for Scottish Literary Studies Annual Conference, May 1999
Writing About Issues that Concern Children
Scottish Library Association Conference, 1999
Scottish Writers Project CD Rom -
an opportunity to inform the reading habits of a whole generation
Conference on Developing Readers, Dundee 1998
Developing Texts - Hard Graft, Serious Thoughts, and Fun
Scottish Library Association Conference, 1998
Youth Library Services within Local Government Re-organisation
Launch of the National Year of Reading 1998
Seeing Rainbows, The Joy of Reading
Irish Children's Literature Summer School, Dublin 1997
Letting in the Light - Storytelling & Stories
Federation of Children's Book Groups, Plymouth 1997
Scottish Arts Council Conference on Children's Literature.
Moving Forward in Children's Literature