Will Mabbitt

Will Mabbitt

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Today and yesterday, four of our schools were lucky enough to have visits from Will Mabbitt. At my school, he visited this morning and children have been stopping me all afternoon, telling me how funny he was and how much they love his books. Teachers were also captivated by him, calling him ‘inspirational’, ‘amazing’ and ‘fantastic’. But we were not the only school that was so impressed…

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This account is from another of our schools who also enjoyed his visit.

Our school positively rocked with excitement this afternoon as we welcomed the marvellous, Will Mabbitt, to talk to our children.

Will was both very funny and extremely inspirational - holding the children in the palm of his hand as he told our audience about where he gets his ideas for his books and how he develops them into stories. The idea of basing your characters on your friends saw some of our collective smaller people turn and look at their classmates - already assessing their potential in stories of the future.

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Will’s message that it is ‘OK to make mistakes’ was particularly encouraging and the revelation that he had made over 5000 when writing his first book, ‘The Unlikely Adventures of Mabel Jones’, was greeted with gasps and a few astonished ‘No Ways!’. In a world where the pressure to be immediately perfect is so intense, an established, successful author honestly admitting his struggles with spelling and telling his young audience not to worry about correcting and improving was a rocket to their self esteem.

The session was jam packed with audience interaction- our pupils loved playing the observation game where they had to spot different things in a picture of a rather cluttered writing desk and decide from the objects what the owner may be like. The revelation that  it belonged to Will caused much amusement and when he awarded them a ‘gazillion’ points for their beady eyes the resulting celebration nearly took the roof off!

The session ended with Will reading from his hilarious picture book ‘I Can Only Draw Worms’ - which was hugely enjoyed by everyone -especially the staff!

Lots of our pupils bought copies of Will's books  from the pop up bookshop provided by ‘Books on the Hill’. Both 'Embassy of the Dead' and 'Embassy of the Dead:Hangman's Crossing'( Books 1 and 2 in Will’s new series) were on offer - and every child got their book signed by Will in our library.

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Will took time to talk to every child, asking them a question or writing something unique to them in their book - he made every child he met feel special and those books will be treasured forever. 

It has been an absolute joy hearing all the positive comments from our children about the  author visit! Lots of them couldn’t wait to start reading their new books; others could wait to start writing theirs! Those super fast readers  who had already read a couple of chapters before home time were heard saying ‘It’s proper creepy’ and ‘This might be the best book I’ve ever read!’

Will Mabbit has set off a real book buzz in our school - long may it continue!

Embassy of the Dead: Hangman’s Crossing Will Mabbitt, illustrated by Chris Mould

Orion Children’s ISBN: 978-1510104570

Thank you so much to Will for coming and inspiring so many children! Thank you also to Dom for bringing him and to Books on the Hill for the book sales.

You can read about our last visit from Will here.






The Wonderful Will Mabbitt and The Embassy of the Dead

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This week, four of our schools have been lucky enough to have visits from Will Mabbitt, talking about his new book, 'Embassy of the Dead'. 

When Jake is accidentally given a box he is not supposed to have, he has no idea how much trouble it is going to land him in. The fact it contains a severed finger is worrying enough; the fact that he is now being chased by a reaper who wishes to drag him into the Eternal Void means he needs to start running- and quickly! With the help of some new ghostly friends-Stiffkey and Cora- along the way, Jake will need all his wits about him if he is to correct his mistake and survive to fight another day!

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The story romps along at a lively pace, full of fun and adventure with just the right amount of scary stuff thrown in to the mix! Its short chapters make it an achievable read as well as adding to the urgency of the plot. The characters are very well developed and hopefully, this will be the first of a new series.

Will read the opening of the book to the children, before offering his top tips about being a writer. The children loved it as he took their ideas for a story and had some of them acting things out. The way he built the story and valued their ideas was excellent- and very inspiring!

When he asked the children how many mistakes they thought  he had made in his first draft, they politely suggested about 20 and then increased their guesses with glee as the numbers got higher and higher. They got noisier and noisier- there were 210 of them!- but quickly settled when he asked as they were so keen to hear what he had to say.

The buzz of enthusiasm was infectious and they were very sad when the session was over. Lots of them bought copies of 'Embassy of the Dead' and it was lovely to see them getting their copies signed and having a chat with Will.

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Yesterday, as I was walking over to my classroom, one of the teaching assistants who had been in the talk, stopped me to tell me just how inspiring she had found it and how much she had enjoyed listening to Will. She told me how the children she works with had been full of enthusiasm and very keen to read the book!

Today, I heard one of my reluctant readers read some of 'Embassy of the Dead'- and 'reluctant' couldn't be further from the truth! We normally enjoy reading together, but not a lot of independent reading takes place between sessions. Since buying his copy of the book, he had read nearly 50 pages and was very keen to tell me all about the story! It's like I always say- no such thing as someone who doesn't like reading- it's all about the right book!

Thank you so much to Will for coming, to Dom for bringing him and to Waterstones in Weston for patiently dealing with all my book requests! Each visit was a huge success, inspiring children to read and enjoy books.

Embassy of the Dead   Will Mabbitt

 Orion Children's Books   ISBN: 978-1510104556