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chris bradford

Seven years of perseverance paid off for librarian Mrs Wrennall when the author behind the Young Samurai and Bodyguard series of books paid a visit to the College.

 "I first had the privilege of meeting Chris and seeing him perform at The Federation of Children’s Book Groups Conference in 2008," explained Mrs Wrennall.

"Chris was launching his first book for teenagers Young Samurai. I knew instantly that our students would love his dynamic approach towards writing and performing."

Chris Bradford website

His best-selling books are published in over 20 languages and have garnered more than 30 children’s book award nominations, winning the Northern Ireland Book Awards 2011, Weald Book Award 2014 and the Brilliant Book Award 2014. Young Samurai: The Way of the Warrior was deemed one of Puffin’s 70 Best Ever Books, alongside Treasure Island and Robin Hood.

"I can’t say I was surprised to find that when I contacted his agent he was fully booked months in advance," said Mrs Wrennall.

 "I thought maybe once his initial tours had settled down I might be in with more of a chance. This turned out not to be the case, Chris’s fame grow and he became an international bestseller in 20 countries.

"He became even harder to book so I cannot tell you how delighted I was to finally fix a date for him to meet our students."

Chris spent the day at the College on 4 March 2015 giving presentations to students and signing books in the Library.

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Chris spoke to students from Years 7,8 and 9 about his life and his work and Mr Lawson, the winner of the College's creative writing completion for family and friends, was the guest of honour at Chris’ afternoon presentation.

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Year 7 student Jess said the talk he attended was "awesome".

"I'm going to get one of his books out of the library.

"I'd definitely go to another author talk and I'd recommend anyone to go to hear Chris if you get the chance, he's really interesting and funny."

Chris said the students were "great".

 "My mission is to get young people reading so they know that it can be just as exciting as watching a film or playing a game.

"Your students were great, they really got into it."

Drama teacher Mrs Garratt agreed: "After the presentation my Year 7 drama class were very keen to act out scenes from The Bodyguard.

 "They all gave amazing feedback on the session and then spent their lesson going their own scenes from the Bodyguard.

"They wouldn't let me do anything else!"

Chris also admired the display the Library staff had prepared in anticipation of his visit.

"I have to say the displays just get better and better wherever I go."

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Mrs Wrennall said Chris’s books have "flown" off the library shelves and students crammed into the library to buy signed copies of his books at the end of the day.

"Chris gave an explosive Bodyguard presentation, his performance was unique and dynamic," said Mrs Wrennall.

"It was well worth the wait!"

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