We were extremely fortunate to have been visited by children’s author Ellen Renner on Friday 27th April.
Ellen Renner’s debut novel ‘Castle of Shadows’ won the 2010 North East Book Award – an award voted for by young people, which means a great deal, and her second novel ‘City of Thieves’ has proved equally as popular.
Ms Renner spoke to the LIV and MIV Forms about her books and then moved on to discuss the need for female heroes (‘heroine’ is a redundant term, she told us) in children’s fiction. This is partly because both boys and girls will read fiction in which boys are the main protagonists, while only girls will read those books in which females are the stars of the show.
She also explained how many female characters are rather less adventurous than their male counterparts (another reason, perhaps, why boys tended to avoid ‘girlie’ fiction), challenging this notion by asserting that girls have just as much fun as boys, a sentiment with which we all agreed.
She explored various fairy tales in which the female takes the lead, when Gretel saves Hansel from the witch for example, and how these stories feed into others and are still the basis for modern stories today.
At the end of the talk, the girls had time to ask a variety of interesting questions and many will now be reading signed copies of her two books at bedtime!