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HUNDREDS of school pupils got the chance to meet some of the UK’s most treasured authors at a special book festival backed by JF Hornby and Co.

Pupils from ten primary schools heard from leading children’s authors Frank Cottrell-Boyce and Jennifer Killick when the event was held at Ormsgill School.

They also took part in draw-a-long workshops with illustrator Fiona Woodcock and enjoyed tales from popular storyteller Dan Worsley.

Hornby’s trainee accountant, Carly Atkinson, who recently joined the company on an apprenticeship scheme, visited the festival to see how Hornby’s donation was making a difference.

She said: “Books and reading are so important as children grow up, but increasingly, it seems they are second best to smartphones and computers.

“I remember as a child really enjoying the books of Michael Morpurgo; reading can transport you to a different world and can be magical.

“But not every child has access to books and is inspired to read – and that’s why the Ormsgill School Book Festival was so amazing.

“For children to have direct access to the authors and illustrators the school managed to secure was nothing short of outstanding and it was a real pleasure to spend some time there.”

Enthralled: Children at the event

The event, held at Ormsgill Primary School, is in its sixth year and was organised by assistant headteacher Laura Reid.

Author and screenwriter Frank Cottrell-Boyce shared stories of his own primary school days and impressed the pupils with magic before reading excerpts from his latest book, The Wonder Brothers, set in Blackpool.

Children’s novelist Jennifer Killick, who penned the Alex Sparrow books as well as junior horror including the DreadWood series, took the pupils on a journey through one of her books – Crater Lane.

Organiser Laura Reid said the authors had been keen to attend.

“We have been trying to get them for a few years but this time the dates all aligned and we are over the moon to welcome them,” she said. “Frank is a national treasure and had the children enthralled with his storytelling, and Jennifer brought some creepiness with her books, which they loved.

“With Fiona and Dan completing the line-up we were able to offer workshops for all ages from reception right through to Year 6. It was a packed day, we also had comic art sessions with Sim Leech who does the Comic Potential project.”

JF Hornby & Co Managing Director, Paul Hornby, said: “Through the Hornby Foundation, we seek to make a positive difference to all of the communities we serve as a business.

“Every child should be inspired to read and fall in love with books, and it was our pleasure to support this fantastic event.”