Participate in a project to see my new children's book grow!
The Origins of the White Stag Project
Hello there! Thank you for stopping by to read the information about ‘Save the White Stag’, which is my next children’s book. It’s a follow-up to my children’s novel, ‘Footprints in the Snow’, for young readers aged 8-12. This earlier story was inspired by the Forest of Dean in Gloucestershire, where I lived for fifteen years, and also by the urban myth that a black panther lives deep in the forest there. The story introduces Jamie, a ten-year-old boy from London, who goes to the Forest of Dean to spend Christmas with his grandfather. Here he meets three siblings, Caro, Finn and Molly, who live with their parents in a traveller camp, and a story unfolds involving their huge forest playground, talking to animals and a dramatic climax when Jamie becomes lost in the snow. You can read about ‘Footprints in the Snow’ and also read a free extract at these website links:
(*Please be aware that ‘Footprints in the Snow’ has a secondary sub-theme involving childhood bereavement, because Jamie’s father has died before the start of the book.)
Why Take Part in the White Stag Project?
‘Save the White Stag’ is also a story for the 8-12 age group, involving the same four children and is also set in the Forest of Dean. This story centres around another famous Forest of Dean animal, the white stag, but this animal isn’t a myth. The white stag is real and, as the title suggests, Jamie, Caro, Finn and Molly take it upon themselves to help it when it’s in danger.
The Purpose of the Project
As I began to plan my book, the teacher-in-me thought it would be fun to have some interaction with teachers and young readers as the book developed, rather than waiting until it’s finished and published. One purpose is, of course, to encourage children to read, but by taking part in the White Stag project, teachers and students can gain an insight into the thoughts, planning, changes and development that go into writing a book. Finding out about the writing process would hopefully encourage and inspire children to be young writers, not just readers. The project can be used in a flexible way, either with a whole class, a small group or offered to particular students who would benefit from taking part as an extension project.
I also hope that this project will forge some nice links for future interaction between myself and reading activities in schools.
How It Works
On Monday 26th April, I will send out the first chapter of ‘Save the White Stag’ by email to participating teachers, and then every following Thursday and Monday you will receive a new chapter until the book is complete. On the same day as you receive a new chapter, I will upload some free classroom resources for that particular chapter at my TES and TeachersPayTeachers resource pages. How and when you read the story and/or use the resources is of course up to you. You may even want to store the book and resources to use at a much later date. Having recently given up teaching to concentrate on writing, I know how busy a class’s weekly schedule and the curriculum demands can be!
During this period, I will be posting various comments at my blog page. I hope you will be interested in leaving comments, uploading any student art work you’d like to share (Christian names only, please!) and asking me questions. I’d love to hear from you and what you think of the story as it grows! We can also Zoom chat, if you and your students would like to.
Is There A Charge?
There is no charge to have access to the White Stag Project. You simply have to provide a contact email. Chapter files are sent free of charge to teachers who sign up for them. Zoom chats are also free.
The TES and TeachersPayTeachers resources will be free for a limited time only, during the period leading up to the book’s publication.
Finally, I’d love to be invited to visit your school and meet you all, but I cannot offer this as a freebie. Please enquire for further details of potential visits. (And of course we all have to keep an eye on the Covid situation.)
Please email me via my website to register to take part in the project, or to ask any questions about it. I hope you and your students will take part and gain a story and resource for your classroom to use and share again and again!
Thank you for your interest in the White Stag Project.