Since children’s author Sarah Govett visited Emanuel in 2018, following her win in the Trinity School Book Award for her superb dystopian ecological thriller The Territory, we have remained in contact.

Last May she let us know that her next novel India Smythe Stands Up was a major change of direction into light comedy, which she hoped would be popular with girls in Years 7-9 and might be seen as an updated or junior version of Bridget Jones or Adrian Mole.

Sarah offered the library an unbound ‘preview’ of the novel and was hoping to receive quotes from children who read and enjoyed the book for the eventual front cover and inside pages, which were to be published a few months later. We offered this opportunity to pupils in Years 7-8 and were quickly overwhelmed with requests from fans who had loved The Territory and were dying to read what Sarah had coming next. Around seven pupils read the manuscript and several of their comments were included on the book and the back cover. Two of our pupils who read the book, Jadyn and Emma, are included.

This was a lovely activity for enthusiastic readers and fans of the author who were excited to read the book months before it hit the shelves. We now have two ‘real’ copies for anyone who wants to borrow the proper book from the library.

Sarah Govett should be returning to Emanuel in 2020 to talk to Hill form about World Book Day in March.

Tony Jones (Senior Librarian and Archivist)

Emma and Jadyn are delighted to have been quoted for the new novel.