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Posted: 22.06.23

Crime-solving author Robin Stevens captivates local pupils

Pupils at Christ College Brecon and Llanfaes Primary School were last week treated to a visit from number-one best-selling children’s author and creator of the famous Murder Most Unladylike series, Robin Stevens.

Children in years five to eight from the Brecon schools listened to Robin discuss her love of detective fiction and how it shaped her experience as a writer of murder mysteries for children, before she read a summary of her new book The Ministry of Unladylike Activity, in which a young group of would-be spies pose as evacuees to solve a murder at a country manor house in 1940s Britain. 

The audience were then grouped together and tasked with creating their own murder mystery adventure, before completing a quiz to discover which character they are most like in Robin’s book.

Two pupils from Christ College Brecon’s year seven class, Anna Beharrell and Helisent Graham-Paul, were so inspired by the author that they wrote a review of the event.

Anna said: “I thoroughly enjoyed her visit and loved every second of it! So, a huge thank you to Mrs Hope for organising the visit and Robin Stevens for introducing her brilliant books here at Christ College!”

Helisent said: “When I heard that Robin Stevens was coming into our school to talk to us about her new book, The Ministry of Unladylike Activity, I remember that I was just so excited to learn about how she comes up with all her ideas; her talk lived up to that expectation and more.”

Harry Mackridge, Deputy Head (Academic) at Christ College Brecon, said: “We’re so thankful to Robin for taking the time to come and speak to our pupils. It’s always great to see the children engaged and thinking creatively, and this workshop really got them excited about writing and the career that can come from it.”

Robin Stevens was born in California and moved to England when she was three. She attended Cheltenham Ladies College before securing an MA in crime fiction from Warwick University and going on to achieve her dream of writing crime novels.

Two reviews of the event written by Year 7 pupils at Christ College:

By Anna Beharrell

On Thursday the 8th, celebrated children’s author, Robin Stevens visited Christ College with Bookish to talk to the pupils of Christ College Prep School and Llanfaes primary school about her new book- The Ministry of Unladylike Activity.

She started with a summary of herself, her childhood and love for murder mysteries, and her experience as a writer. We got to know the fascinating buildings and places where she grew up, which inspired the settings of some of her books.

Then, we were inspired by her description of her growth as an author from the age of six, her previous series (Murder Most Unladylike) and a summary of her new book, which is the beginning of a whole new series, she hopes! It is a book set in World War 2 about a trio of determined children, trying to uncover Nazi spies and prove the grownups wrong about their detective skills… when there is a murder!

We then had the chance to create our own murder mystery (with the help of tips from Robin) as an audience! It ended up being set in an orphanage, with a cruel nun being murdered and another kind nun admitting to the murder. Also, everyone took a quiz to discover which character they were from the book, a fun way of getting to know the characters better!

After such an inspiring introduction to Robin’s books, there was a sea of hands, desperate to ask questions and so many people longing to buy a book at the end!

We had the chance to buy either the first book from her previous series or the first book from the new series plus a free pin badge, which was a huge success. Robin Stevens then signed the books for us and we went back to lessons, but as a huge fan of her books (I’ve read all except two) I thoroughly enjoyed her visit and loved every second of it!

So a huge thank you to Mrs Hope for organising the visit and Robin Stevens for introducing her brilliant books here at Christ College Brecon!

By Helisent Graham-Paul

When I heard that Robin Stevens was coming into our school to talk to us about her new book, The Ministry of Unladylike Activity, I remember that I was just so excited to learn about how she comes up with all her ideas; her talk lived up to that expectation and more.

I was amazed at how easily she connected with me, since I am a massive fan of her books, how well she structured her to talk with each thing she talked about leading on to the next, and the content that she put in it to. She talked about her childhood and how she grew up in an Oxford college, what inspiration she had growing up to become an author, what writing technique she uses and how to write a murder mystery.

Robin was a very kind person during the brief time that I met her: when we were asking questions, she considered everyone and was very inclusive. Her answers were very informative and she made us feel that we could ask her anything. She was also very enthusiastic when we were giving ideas for a new murder mystery and she loved that we had such creative minds.

All in all, I was very pleased with the talk that she gave us and I hope very much that she comes back again to talk to us about her future books.

 

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