Thursday, 8 December 2011

Prizegiving award

At the Lawrence Area School prizegiving evening, a new trophy was presented.  This is the May O'Connell trophy for the most promising junior writer.  We were thrilled that it was won this year by Autumn Forbes.  Autumn consistently produces written work of an extreme high quality. She has a natural talent for writing, which we hope she continues to foster and develop in the future.
Autumn Forbes, the inaugural winner of the May O'Connell trophy for the most promising junior writer
Autumn, Mrs O'Connell and Mrs May

CONGRATULATIONS AUTUMN.  You have set the bar very high for future winners of this award!

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Complex Sentences

Today during our Crafty Crew writing session we worked on developing our simple sentences into more complex sentences, in order to add more detail to our writing and make it more interesting for our reader.

E.g The puddles covered the asphalt. (simple sentence)

Complex Sentences:
The puddles, filled with muddy brown water, covered the asphalt. (Lochie)
The puddles, shimmering in the sunlight, covered the asphalt. (Mac)
The puddles, sparkling in the grey light, covered the asphalt. (Jessica)
The puddles, filled with murky water, covered the asphalt. (Keegan)
The puddles, that were crystal blue, covered the asphalt. (Rylee)
The puddles, overflowing from the constant sheet of rain, covered the asphalt. (Sam
The puddles, which were filled to the brim with rainwater, covered the asphalt. (Lachlan)
The puddles, left by the heavy grey clouds hanging on the horizon , covered the asphalt. (Autumn)

The fat man fell down the cliff and his house fell on top of him.
The fat man, who was tied to his house, fell down the cliff and his house fell on top of him. (Lachlan)

The apples were on the tree.
The apples, which were scarlet red, were on the tree. (Melissa)

The pole was standing up.
The pole, that the lights lit up on, was standing up (Mac)

The horses galloped down the track carrying their light riders.
The horses, young and full of excitement, galloped down the track carrying their light riders. (Jessica)

The crystals were beautiful.
The crystals, that were shining white, were beautiful. (Rylee)

The black motorbike climbed up the hill.
The black motorbike, sprayed thin sheets of mud as it climbed up the hill. (Keegan)

Rugby is my favourite sport.
Rugby, the best sport in the world is my favourite sport. (Lochie)

The apples were on the tree.
The apples, glistening rosy red, were on the tree. (Sam)

I ran through the trees.
I ran, with ideas ideas racing through my head, through the trees. (Autumn)

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Meeting Kyle Mewburn

The Crafty Crew were lucky enough to get to meet and talk with award-winning NZ author Kyle Mewburn after he spoke with the whole junior school.  

Here are some of our thoughts after his visit.....

Meeting Kyle was fun because he showed us some other books that weren't out yet  (Mac)
Meeting Kyle was awesome because we got to hear his first published books (Jessica)
Meeting Kyle was interesting because he told us all about being an author (Autumn)
Meeting Kyle was a great experience because it's not every day you get to meet a writer (Lachlan)
Meeting Kyle was interesting because he was really funny in person like he is in his books (Sam)
Meeting Kyle was totally cool because I was actually face-to-face with an author (Milz)

Kyle autographs some of his books for us

Kyle presents Andrea, our librarian, with a copy of the 3rd book in his Dinosaur series.  Lawrence Area School is the first school to have a copy of this book as it isn't available to buy yet!!!!!
Kyle inspires the Crafty Crew

This is the book that Kyle had to re-write 14 times before it got published!!!!!


The Crafty Crew soak up all of Kyle's writing tips and hints
The Phantom Tollbooth is Kyle's first favourite chapter book from his childhood.  This is the book that motivated him to be a writer.
After the Crafty Crew left, Kyle signed and commented on every book that he has written that we have in our school library.  So come on in and check out his comments!
Something interesting that I found out was
He started out writing adult books and only found he was good at picture books by chance (Lachlan)
He got one of his ideas while digging a hole! (Autumn)
He has 40 books already published (Lochie)
That he writes every day (Rylee)
That publishers can sometimes let down authors (Jessica)
Even if you send two books to a publisher you would be lucky to get two accepted (Sam)

Some books are quick to write, for example only taking a couple of hours, while others can take up to 2 years to finish!
Authors don't get to choose who illustrates their books.
You don't have to go to university or do a course to be a successful author.
That Kyle loves writing because he can do it in his pyjamas!
It is about one and a half years after Kyle has written a book that it is published.

The best piece of advice that Kyle gave us was
Keep practising and use more detail (Mac)
We can make our stories better by re-writing (Jessica)
Don't give up writing if you don't get your first book published (Lochie)
To keep writing  (Keegan)
That even if we were turned down by a publisher, don't give up (Rylee)
To think about what the character was feeling before writing (Milz)

Don't give up - writing is hard work!
You have to finish a story and show it to someone for advice.  They might not always be right but listen to their advice.
Writers should try new things.
Keep writing what you like.

Something that you may not know is:
When he was young his family didn't own any books (Sam)
Kyle wrote one of his books 14 times before it was published!  (Rylee)
Kyle is in a FaBo challenge online - check it out at  (Mac)
That Kyle Mewburn is very funny (Keegan)
That Kyle doesn't like all of his books (Milz)
He writes for 4-6 hours each day (Lochie)

Kyle has sold 30,000 copies of Kiss, Kiss, Yuck, Yuck!
Kyle built his own house at Millers Flat.
Old Huhu took 2 years to write and 9 months to illustrate.
It is not easy to make a living as an author.  Writers have to work hard to make money from writing.
If Kyle wasn't an author he would like to be a bloodthirsty pirate!

Crafty Crew listen intently to Kyle's words of wisdom
Kyle explains how the illustrator came up with the pictures for Old Huhu

Kyle shows us how the illustrations and cover page of picture books can change from their original design to the published format
This book took two years and one day to write and 9 months to illustrate!  Kyle shows us the original cover beside the published version of Old Huhu

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Hill & Hole - Reviewed by Mrs May

Hill and Hole is a thought provoking picture book about a hill who watches the sun rises and a hole who feels the earth breathe. Both of them are very content in their lives, but they both choose to swap place for a while and see what the other sees.

For a time they are both happy, but then they ask to be changed back. The wind blows and blows but leaves neither the hill, nor the hole, just a flat plain. They are both happy to see the sun rise and feel the earth breathe, but the book leaves us with the words 'for a while'.

This story lends itself to lots of discussion about wanting what we don't have, and how it often seems  that someone else's position is better than our present situation, but it actually might not be so. It also allows for talk about the serious, irreversable consequences our decisions might have.

On the lighter side it is a lovely story about two friends living in harmony.

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Do Not Push - Reviewed by Keegan

I think that Do not push was very funny and exciting and once I started I wanted to read more. I was hooked from the start to the end. It was fantastic to read 

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Scruffy Old Cat - Reviewed by Rylee

Katie is a girl and she really wants a perfect kitten. Mr Hooper, the pet shop keeper, gives her a cat to look after for one night. She is not happy because she hates the cat that he gives her.
I really liked this book because Katie changes her mind quite a bit after she gets a cat she hated. Katie wants her cat  to be dainty but she turns out scruffy. Katie wants a perfect pet then she gets a scruffy scratched one.
She ends up changing her mind because the cat do lots of tricks, like back flips and stuff.
The book made me want it to last forever and ever, and it seems like it's not actually finished.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

A Crack in the Sky - reviewed by Lachlan

This book is about a boy called Conor  who lives with his mum in an old, broken building. It all starts when his mum (who separated) ripped her favourite dress on a spring in the sofa. His mum goes to buy a new sofa but she can't afford it. When Conor is walking to school, he spotted a sofa floating in the sea. He got his mum and 2 friends to help get it home. Surprisingly, the sofa was bone dry and even though it was huge, it fitted in the doorway. His mum and him slept on it that night. In the morning Conor was sick so his mum said she can't come to work and should stay to help Conor. The boss fired her. When she came home, Conor was bouncing on the couch as if nothing was wrong. His mum got extremely angry with him and ran off. He fell asleep and when he woke up, he was in a different universe and was struggling to remember where he was before. He found out he was inside the 'evernew' sofa- the one he had brought into their house. He met some people who had been stuck inside the sofa for a long time and tried to tell them where they all came from. But they thought he was crazy and didn't listen. After a lot of searching, he found his one and only exit. Every once and a while there was a 'crack in the sky' which came with really strong winds. So he tried to make a wind board to get him and his friends out. Someone stole the last thing he needed to get out so he followed it. It was his dad. Using a rope he, his dad and his friends got out to find the hole was his mum vacuuming. In the end, his mum and dad got together and using diamonds his dad found, started a new life together as a proper family.