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The beautiful gates speak of wisdom, but the pupils at Clapton Girls’ Academy also have a real taste for gore! (Well some of them do, at least.)


I recently spoke to Year 7s as part of the brilliant Pop-Up Book Festival, and was surprised to find how the portrayal of violence in Monkey Wars divided the girls. Some were really into it and understood the role it played, while others were pretty squeamish.

They asked some great questions, and at the end I was handed an envelope full of letters they’d written to me – homework for the train!


It made fascinating reading – the girls articulated their thoughts brilliantly, and many offered some very handy advice for future books.

Listening to editors and critics is very valuable, but there is nothing like standing in front of 120 students who have all read the book and want to tell you what they thought!


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