Author Kathryn Evans has visited Durrington High School to help students with creative writing.
Her award-winning book, More of Me, was chosen by students across four schools as one of the best published last year.
Mrs Sally Baker, manager of the Durrington school library, said the students were very excited to meet the author.
She added: “Kathryn ran a creative writing workshop with year eight students and then talked to our year nine students about how reading shapes the person you are.
“The young writers learned about the main elements of plot development and how story arcs help to develop the plot, along with the importance of planning and structure.
“Later in the day, Kathryn’s infectious enthusiasm was put to great use when talking to year-nine students about the importance of grit and resilience, helping them to challenge themselves to release their own writing potential.”
Students also had the opportunity to chat with Kathryn during a book-signing session.
More of Me is an original story of identity, friendship, love and sacrifice. It tells of a girl who sheds the skin of her previous self each year, leaving the younger version stuck at the same age forever.
Mrs Baker said the students found a lot of parallels to their own lives in the story.
She explained: “Even though the novel is a work of science fiction, readers can identify with the fact that Teva is changing as she grows older but always has reminders of her previous character traits left behind.
“Also, any of them who have large families can easily imagine how difficult it could be to live with 11 previous versions of themselves.”
The book was one of five nominated for the Amazing Book Awards, organised by librarians at Durrington High, Worthing High School, St Andrew’s High School and Shoreham Academy.
Mrs Baker explained: “The awards were set up at the start of 2011 by a small group of school librarians. The group felt that secondary school students, particularly those in years nine and ten, were so often overlooked by those bigger book awards, which frequently aim themselves at students in lower years.
“The ABAs is your chance to let your students take control. Although we, with the help of the publishers and nominations from participating school librarians, create the long list, the students choose the shortlist of five and vote for their favourites.
“There is no overall veto or panel vote, the books chosen by the students are the winners.”
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