Karen McManus: Two can keep a secret

Monday morning all S2 and S3 English classes had the honor to meet the New York Times bestseller author Karen McManus. If they’ve expected a long boring reading of the book they must have been disappointed – she just presented a short part of her book about Ellery and Malcolm, two high school seniors living in a small American village. Unsolved murders, hidden secrets and a dead science teacher are the components of a gripping mystery, written in alternating chapters from the point of view of Ellery and Malcolm.

But no one has been disappointed at all! Karen was talking about how to write a book, how to become an author, and what she was confronted with on her way to be a famous author. She learned to be persistent, to be able to take criticism and she learned to fail. Persistence and hard work – that is what brought her to the New York Times bestseller list, as she said. She had to rewrite her book 10 times, had to sustain 130 rejections, but finally she succeeded. Such an inspirational story for students who just started their way into their future.

The students couldn’t get enough asking her more and more questions, just the time did run out, and everybody regretted this fact. Being such an inspiration and giving students a model of how to become successful – not just as an author, but generally spoken – this was one of our best authors visits ever.

Natalie C. Anderson: City of Saints & Thieves

Last Friday, all S6 Geography classes were invited to go on an imaginary travel to Africa, joining a young girl, Tina, on her fight for the truth – the truth about who killed her mother. We followed her to Kenia, Kongo, the hell of war, flight and revenge, and a lot of moments that could cost Tina her life.

But City of Saints & Thieves showed more than this layer, meant to being more than just a thriller. It opens a world we normally do not experience living in a peaceful, secure country. Being dedicated to “all girls who are more than just refugees”, the book offered the opportunity of talking about flight, development, colonization and decolonization in Africa – all the topics students are dealing with in year 6 Geography.

Natalie C. Anderson is a writer and international development professional living in Geneva, Switzerland. She has been working with non-governmental organizations and the United Nations on refugee relief and development, mainly in Africa.

Natalie did not only talk about flight and development, the working conditions in rare earth mines in Africa – something we can find in our smartphones and tablets – but she also challenged students to close their eyes and imagine an intense scene during flight. They imagined sudden gunshots – and wrote or designed as a tattoo what they expected to happen right after.

This was another very intense author visit, and we can be sure that there will be moments in Geography lessons, where students will say or think: “Oh, that was what Natalie was talking about…!”

Leseförderung der besonderen Art

Drei Tage, drei Bücher, drei unterschiedliche Autorennamen auf den Buchtiteln, aber nur zwei Gast-Autoren. Außerdem stellen die beiden Gäste gemeinsam ein Buch vor, das weder den Namen des einen noch des anderen auf dem Cover aufweist. Was nach einer scheinbar unlösbaren Textaufgabe klingen mag und einen Schüler schon einen Skandal wittern ließ, ist schnell aufgeklärt. Zu Gast an der Europäischen Schule RheinMain waren die beiden Kinder- und Jugendbuchautoren Frank Maria Reifenberg und Christian Tielmann, die auch ihre – unter dem Pseudonym R.T. Acron veröffentlichte – “Ocean City” Reihe mit im Gepäck hatten.

Los ging das dreitägige Lesungsfeuerwerk mit den Zweit- und Drittklässler, denen Christian Tielmann auf altersgerechte Weise sich und sein Schaffen, die Eckpfeiler einer Geschichte sowie die verschiedenen Phasen des Schreibens vorstellte. Danach folgte ein kurzer Einblick in die Titel unter seinen Büchern, die wir in der Primarbibliothek zur Ausleihe anbieten – und die sicher bald vergriffen sein werden – bis die Kinder mehr darüber erfahren sollten, was an dem Tag geschah, als Jolante und Carlo ihren Papa umprogrammierten. Die Grundschüler hatten sichtlich Spaß an der Geschichte und lauschten aufmerksam und gespannt. Als Christian Tielmann seine Zuhörer fragte, was sie denn an ihren eigenen Vätern umprogrammieren würden, ließen die Schüler ihrer Fantasie freien Lauf. Allen Eltern sei zur Beruhigung gesagt, dass sie zufriedene Kinder haben, die hauptsächlich in Sachen Süßigkeiten-Verzehr, Taschengeld und sportlichen Fähigkeiten nachbessern würden 😉 Scheinbar nebenbei erzählte unser Gast ganz ungeniert von den Anfängen seiner Grundschulzeit als “Lese-Schwächling” und versuchte die Kinder auf seine Weise in Sachen Rechtschreibung zu motivieren (“…ist blöd, macht keinen Sinn, müsst ihr aber lernen …”). Dass unsere Schüler gerne noch mehr Zeit mit Christian Tielmann und seinen Geschichten verbracht hätten unterstrich der Versuch eines Schülers, als er ganz im Stil der Buchhelden ansetzte und zu Christian Tielmann sagte “Lieber, reizender Horst, würde es dir etwas ausmachen uns noch eine Geschichte vorzulesen?” …

Die Klassen P4DE konnten im Zuge ihrer Lesung nicht nur einen ersten Blick in die Sekundarbibliothek werfen und ihre „neue“ Schulbibliothekarin kennenlernen, sie wurden auch sehr schnell in den Sog des überaus merkwürdigen Internats des Direktors Grünspan gezogen, in das Lenny um Mitternacht von seinen Eltern gebracht wurde. Frank Maria Reifenberg präsentierte sein Buch „Lenny unter Geistern“ in einer szenischen Lesung und mit original Gespenster-Geräuschen, die so manches Mal dazu führten, dass die Schüler vor Schreck in die Höhe hüpften. Spätestens als das Nebelgespenst Lenny erst verschluckte und dann – leicht angewidert – wieder auf den Schulhof ausspuckte, waren alle mittendrin in Lennys neuer, überaus sonderbaren Schule. Keiner von ihnen wird wohl je wieder Mr. Strong vergessen, den Hausdiener der etwas anderen Art.

Die Klassen 5-6 der deutschen Sprachabteilung sowie die Sechstklässler mit Deutsch als zweiter Sprache waren eingeladen, sich zu überlegen, wie wohl das Leben der Menschen im Jahr 2318 aussehen werde. Genau das, so erklärten die beiden Autoren, war die Ausgangsfrage, mit der sie sich in “Ocean City – Jede Sekunde zählt” auseinander gesetzt hatten. Auch wenn alle Schüler die gleichen Illustrationen und Hintergrundinformationen zum Buch und der Lebenswelt in Ocean City präsentiert bekamen, so entwickelten sich doch ganz unterschiedliche Ideen und auch sehr individuelle Veranstaltungen. Mit ihrer offenen, unkomplizierten, humorvollen Art sowie dem aufrichtigen Interesse an den vier Schülergruppen gelang es den beiden Autoren mühelos, eine Verbindung zu ihrem jungen Publikum herzustellen. Immer wieder forderten sie ihre Zuhörer heraus, sich mit unterschiedlichen Szenarien gedanklich auseinander zu setzen und diese zu hinterfragen, während sie die Schüler immer mehr in die Realität aus Ocean City eintauchen ließen. Doch auch Parallelen zu unserer aktuellen Lebensrealität wurden angedeutet und aufgezeigt. Während des Lese-Parts der Veranstaltung hatte man dann fast das Gefühl, einem Hörbuch zu lauschen. Wie sehr das bis ins Detail ausgearbeitete Konstrukt von Ocean City die Schüler ansprach, spiegelte sich in ihren vielen Fragen wider.

Mit dem Besuch von Christian Tielmann und Frank Maria Reifenberg sollten Begeisterung für Bücher und Lesemotivation einmal mehr gestiegen sein. 

Jo Cotterill: Comments from her audience

LAST BUT NOT LEAST:

Jo Cotterill was the first author I’ve ever met! I love that she loves cheese!!!! (Jennifer G.)

I loved how she showed the science behind electricity and made a model for us. (Madeleine L.)

An amazing experience that taught me a lot including that Jo Cotterill likes cheese, a lot! (Anna W.)

jo1Jo2

“Fully charged and ready for action”

Originally taken from the book cover but no less describing Electrigirl’s creator Jo Cotterill who came to visit our students in year 3-8 of our English language section. The sympathic, energetic and witty  author seemed to enjoy her time at our school and our students simply loved it!

The first two sessions were a very entertaining mix of sharing her personal story of becoming a writer and that of “Electrigirl” but at the same time there also was some teaching. The elements of atoms and an electric circuit were introduced in a fun way that will most certainly stay in every student’s mind.

A really nice add-on to the current/previous curriculum and a story our P3 students enjoyed reading in class.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

After the lunch break, Jo Cotterill invited classes S2EN and S3EN to “Looking at the stars”. Her award winning book however does not relate to Astronomy but instead addresses serious topics such as refugees, discrimination, poverty but also the power of storytelling hope, family, friendship. More about this reading to follow ….

A big Thank You to Jo Cotterill for travelling all the way from England to meet our student: It has been a pleasure to have you!

https://jocotterill.com/electrigirl/

https://jocotterill.com/books/looking-at-the-stars/

 

Patrice Lawrence / by Saina V.

Patrice Lawrence

On the 7th of March 2018 the author Patrice Lawrence visited the European School RheinMain and presented her book “Orange Boy” to the students of the 10th grade.

patrice

The author didn’t only present her book, but she also spent some time telling us about her life and how she became an author. Personally, I thought that was the best part of her visit, as she had lived a unique life and she grew up in a multicultural, unusual family. Patrice Lawrence was born in Sussex, and was brought up in an Italian-Trinidadian family, which isn’t the kind of family I have ever heard about before. The writer has been in extraordinary situations which she spent a short amount of time telling us about, which all added up to why she became a writer, and why she writes fiction novels. She told us about how she was at the winter wonderland carnival in London, which inspired her and many more instances which inspired her to write fiction novels.

She made a PowerPoint presentation with pictures of her life, starting from the beginning until now. The author told us about her family and applied her story and onto the characters in her book, she added why the boy in “orange boy” has a dysfunctional family, and that is because the boy wants something different. She read out a few pages from Orange Boy and told us about how it was difficult to write as a teenage boy, however the writer managed to do it very well which the students were impressed by.

Patrice Lawrence then added that she had constant support from her daughter, who inspired her and always gave her new ideas. She also mentioned that when she does not write, she feels as if she has too many thoughts and can’t think properly. She felt as if she had too many tabs open in her brain, which was hard to understand at first but started to make a lot sense towards the end. The fact that the author was so open and real with us is what caught my attention and made me want to know more about her, and the story behind her novel.

The writer told us about the importance of names, furthermore she asked us what our names meant which got us to think the ways she does and understand the meaning behind names. In general, the author inspired me to think in a different, more creative way.

To conclude, the students also enjoyed learning about the process of publishing a book and what it`s like to be a writer.

 

“Von der Stadt der Kinder über den Dschungel Amazoniens bis hin zum Schweden-Krimi”

Im Rahmen der Transition, dem Übergang von Primar- zu Sekundarschule, fanden in dieser Woche gleich vier Lesungen mit Andreas Schlüter statt. Im Vorfeld hatten sich alle Schüler der P5 und S1 in der Sekundar-Bibliothek intensiv mit “Level 4 – Die Stadt der Kinder” auseinandergesetzt und Plakate vorbereitet. Neben seinem ersten Buch, über das Andreas Schlüter natürlich mit allen Schülern sprach, hatte unser Gast noch weitere Abenteuergeschichten und sogar einen Krimi im Gepäck. So wurden es vier ganz individuelle Lesungen, zum Teil mit begleitendem Bildmaterial.

Bei der Lesung zu seinem bislang erfolgreichsten Buch, tauchten die Schüler in die Situation aus “Level 4 – Die Stadt der Kinder” ein, in der plötzlich alle Erwachsenen verschwunden sind. Das im ersten Moment durchaus verlockend klingende Szenario (die Schüler hatten viele Ideen, was sie als erstes machen würden) offenbarten sich im weiteren Verlauf jedoch dessen Folgen und Herausforderungen. Eine spannende Abenteuergeschichte über ein Computerspiel, dass neben den Alltagsschwierigkeiten des Lebens ohne Erwachsene die Reaktion der verschiedenen Charaktere schildert. Kaum zu glauben, dass Andreas Schlüter vor vielen Jahren Schweirigkeiten hatte, einen Verleger für seine Geschichte zu finden. Wir sind gespannt, ob die angedachte Buchverfilmung in absehbarer Zukunft auf der Kinoleinwand zu sehen sein wird.

Auf die zweite Gruppe Schüler wartete der Überlebenskampf im brasilianischen Regenwald aus “Survival – Verloren am Amazonas”. Die Schüler begleiteten die Protagonisten durch die Wildnis Amazoniens und erlangten währenddessen jede Menge faktisches Wissen zum Schauplatz des Abenteuers und dem Überleben in der Wildnis. Spätestens jetzt wissen alle, dass man sich vor dem Buschmeister  besser in Acht nehmen sollte.

Wissenswertes hielt auch die nächste Lesung mit Andreas Schlüter bereit. In “City Crime – Strichcode in Stockholm” lernten die Schüler nicht nur die schwedische Spezialität “Surströmming” kennen, sie wurden auch Zeugen eines Verbrechens. Wer eines der Bücher aus der City Crime Serie gekauft hat, der kann nun sogar einen kleinen Wortschatz der Landessprache aufbauen, der am Ende der Bücher zu finden ist.

Zum Abschluss durfte sich die letzte Schülergruppe über die Fortsetzung des Computerabenteuers “Level 4.2 Zurück in der Stadt der Kinder” freuen und – wie auch die Gruppen zuvor – ihre Fragen an den Autoren richten.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Nach dem Besuch von Andreas Schlüter sollte die Buchauswahl nun ein leichtes sein. Fußball-, Abenteuer- und Krimi-Reihe; da sollte doch für jeden etwas dabei sein!

Denjenigen, die nicht bis zur nächsten Bibliotheksstunde warten möchten sei gesagt, dass die Schulbibliothek einige der Titel als E-Book zur Ausleihe anbietet.

Klicke hier, um zum E-Book Angebot der ESRM zu gelangen

Patrice Lawrence: “Incredibly fascinating person”

I’m glad I was there at the reading. It was actually an even better experience then I imagined it would be. Patrice seemed to me like an incredibly fascinating person after explaining us her origin and her family, the way she spoke about her books, her humour, in general I found her amazing.

As well were amazing her books, Orangeboy and Indigo Donut. They seemed to me like pretty original ideas, and I liked the way she mentioned she used bits and pieces of her reality to make them part of her character’s reality.

What I also really liked about her books is that there will be people who could identify themselves with the characters, and maybe even the stories.

In general, the reading was just amazing, and I could recommend the books. And I’m glad I got to meet Patrice.

Isabelle B. (S5 EN)

“Everyone is an artist in his own way”

Town Hall of Bad Vilbel, Germany – illustrated by David Mackintosh

While waiting for the big day to arrive all children had prepared for the visit of author and illustrator David Mackintosh. Our pre-primary children had a look into storytelling and had learned what an author does, children in P1 had read and recited stories as well as given ideas of how a story could be changed; furthermore had they worked on identifying beginning, middle and end of stories. The oldest students to meet David Mackintosh – our students of year 2 – had taken it another step further by not only understanding the structure of stories but even writing fiction stories of their own.

All of these activities and their research on David Mackintosh got the children even more enthusiastic and excited to meet the author and illustrator. Invited by the welcoming atmosphere our sympathic guest had spread from the very beginning, the children instantly seemed comfortable with him. Especially the older primary students almost started chatting with David and took the chance to address their questions the moment they met him. For the younger ones, the warm-up activity was ultimately breaking the ice.

David Mackintosh

The children got to learn what an author and illustrator does, how long it takes David to draw a picture, when he writes his books, why he likes to write, how his illustrations turn into a book, what he uses to draw, some insights about naming Marshall Armstrong and even a sneak peak into David’s brand new book “Waiting for Chicken Smith”. Of course, there also was time to enjoy a story and it was quite surprising for the librarian (and David?) how quick the children recognized Marshall Armstrong’s house the moment its illustration appeared on the big screen in the primary library. The most audible admiration (a joint “aaaaaaaaw”) was to be heard when David Mackintosh started illustrating some of his characters on the spot. However, the creative activity David had brought along for the children revealed that he was not the only artist present in the library.

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The children really enjoyed their time with our special guest and there were lots of  “Hi David”,  “Hello David Mackintosh” and happy smiles when the children saw him walking down the corridor later on.

Thank you David for inspiring our children and for creating some memories today!

 

all illustrations by David Mackintosh

 

See here for David Mackintosh’s blog about his visit http://www.profuselyillustrated.com/blog/2018/2/2/frankfurt-european-schools-sind-gut