Award winning international authors are helping Newcastle High School for Girls celebrate their Story Festival this week, from Monday 19th – Thursday 21 November, with a week of fun literary events, talks and book readings.

Australian author, Jacqueline Harvey, creator of the popular Alice-Miranda and Clementine-Rose series launched the week with talks and book readings with girls in the same year groups as her popular fictional characters; Year 2s who are the same age as Clementine Rose and Year 6s, who are the same age as Alice-Miranda.

Another award winning author, Piers Torday who grew up in Northumberland returned to his Northern roots to talk to the girls about his book series, The Last Wild that features fictional 12 year old, Kester Jaynes.

The week offered something for everyone in the Junior school with storyteller, Captain Raggy Beard enterWalk the planktaining the younger girls with swashbuckling tales of pirates, local history and the sea.

On the last day of the story festival, girls came into school dressed as their favourite book characters and took part in a series of book related games and activities during the day.

Commenting on the event, Angela Charlton, Head of Junior School at Newcastle High explained:

“Something magical happens when you read a good book and the love of literature is at the heart of our Junior School. Through storytelling events we hope to get our girls hooked on books.  As well as the educational value of reading that weaves its way through our curriculum, it unlocks learning and sparks imagination.  We want to ignite a life long love of reading in our girls.  We want to offer them a pastime that will stay with them for ever and one that is proven to contribute to a happy, successful and productive life.”

Reading Facts:

  • Research shows that avid readers of all social backgrounds are higher achievers than

students who seldom read.

  • Studies show that reading helps people stay mentally stimulated which can slow or possibly even prevent Alzheimers.
  • Reading is thought to combat stress and induce relaxation
  • Reading before bed can help you sleep
  • Reading boosts brain power and improves memory function


Top 10 children’s books of all time – as chosen by the BBC


  • Charlotte’s Web – EB White
  • Charlie and The Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl
  • Harry Potter – JK Rowling
  • Where the Wild Things Are – Maurice Sendak
  • The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe -C S Lewis
  • Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland – Lewis Caroll
  • Little House on the Prairie Laura Ingalls Wilder
  • A wrinkle in Time Madeleine L’Engle
  • A Wizard of Earthsea – Ursula Le Guin
  • Winnie The Pooh – AA Milne
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