Category Archives: Author visits

Macmillan Roadshow Author Panel

On Tuesday 17th April we welcomed Muhammad Khan and Sara Bernard to Thornden library, courtesy of Macmillan books and Waterstones. They talked to an audience of Year 8 and 9 students from Thornden and a small group of Year 8 students from The Romsey School,  about their books, how they came to be writers and about their lives. The students asked interesting questions and had the opportunity to buy some of their books.

Muhammad has written his first book about the topical subject of radicalisation. A very relevant story of our times.

Sara writes about real life and relationships, tackling the sensitive subject of pupil teacher relationships in one of her books.


Author Panel Event – Sara Barnard & Muhammed Khan

On Tuesday, 17th April Thornden will be hosting an author panel which has been organised with Waterstones, West Quay.

The authors on the panel are Sara Barnard whose books include ‘Beautiful Broken Things’ and ‘A Quiet Kind of Thunder’, and Muhammed Khan whose debut book is ‘I Am Thunder’.

This event is open to any Year 8 or Year 9 student who would like to attend.

If you are interested, please speak to the librarians.

Katy Birchall Author Visit

On Thursday 22nd March, we were very pleased to be host to Katy Birchall and her publisher from Egmont.   Eight local secondary schools and nearly 100 of our year 7 & 8 students enjoyed her animated talk about herself and how she started writing.  They helped her design an underwater hotel, with the help of her publisher who acted as artist. Her latest series is about a girl who lives in a hotel.  This was followed by a question and answer session.

Katy complimented us on the imagination and enthusiasm of the students taking part.

P&G Wells provided a bookshop and all students had the opportunity to buy one of Katy’s books and have it signed by her. In fact, the books were so popular that the latest one ‘ Secrets of a Teenage Heiress’ sold out and orders had to be taken.


Katy Birchall – Author Visit for Years 7 & 8

Author Katy Birchall is visiting Thornden Hall on Thursday, 22nd March 2018 at 10.00am.

Katy is the author of the funny ‘It Girl’ series and will be promoting her new book ‘Secrets of a Teenage Heiress’.

If you would like to attend this event, please come to the library and add your name to the list.  There will be an opportunity to buy one of Katy’s books and have it signed.

A Very Busy Week in the Library

Wednesday 1st November was a very busy day for Thornden Librarians.

It started with a group of Year 7 students being taken to Hamble College ,to take part in a workshop with the 2Steves, Steve Barlow and Steve Skidmore. The experience has been described by the participating students as hilarious and very entertaining. They also have been borrowing the 2Steves books to read.  To see all the pictures from this workshop Click here

At the same time Helen Dennis had arrived at Thornden and was delivering a workshop on Code Breaking to a small group of Year 8 students. This is the theme running through her ‘Secret Breakers’ series of books. The students  really enjoyed cracking codes and the participation involved in the workshop.

After lunch Year 8, plus a Year7 tutor group and a small group of students from The Romsey School assembled, in Thornden Hall for the main event. Helen Dennis had come to talk about her early years, her career and her books. The talk was extremely enjoyable and the students had the opportunity to join her on stage and at the end of the session to ask questions. We welcomed P&G Wells again to sell books for us and the orders are still coming in. Always a good sign that the author visit was a success. Helen made time to talk to the students who had bought her books while they had them signed.

The following day we took the judges for this year’s Hampshire Book Award to Winchester Guildhall to watch Helen Dennis receive her Hampshire Book Award for her book ‘River of Ink – Genesis’. This was a popular winner of the award and everyone agreed that Helen was a very worthy winner. She was very excited to receive her award in Hampshire as this is where she first heard she had a publishing deal.

2Steves Author Visit

On Wednesday 1st November we will be taking a small group of specially selected Year 7 students to Hamble School to take part in a workshop with the 2Steves. This has become an annual event and their extremely entertaining performance is always very popular.

Steve Barlow and Steve Skidmore have written over 125 books in the twenty years they have been together. Some of the most popular are the ‘I Hero’ and ‘I Horror’ series of books.

Helen Dennis Author Visit

Helen Dennis will be visiting Thornden  on Wednesday 1st November. She will be talking to Year 8 students in Thornden Hall and there will be the opportunity to buy her books and have them signed by her.


She will also be running a ‘Code Breaking’ workshop in the library for a selected group of Year 8 students.

Helen has won this year’s Hampshire Book Award for ‘River of Ink: Genesis’ and will be presented with the award the following day in Winchesters Guildhall. It is about a boy who is washed up on the banks of the River Thames and has no memory. The only clue to his identity is the sketch he makes of a strange, twisted symbol. It is the first book in a trilogy.

She has also written the ‘Secret Breakers’ series of books under H.L. Dennis, which have been dubbed ‘The Da Vinci Code’ for kids!


Matt Dickinson on Everest

Author Matt Dickinson, who visited Thornden at the end of November, is back on Mount Everest!

He is filming the backdrop for his Everest Files play which will be premiered at the        Edinburgh Fringe in August.  His third Everest Files book ‘Killer Storm’ will also be launched in August at the Edinburgh Book Festival.

To find out more about Matt’s latest adventures on Everest read his blog at



Chris Riddell, Children’s Laureate

Thornden Hall played host for Hampshire Schools Library Service ‘Meet the Author’ event on Tuesday, 7th March 2017.  Hampshire pupils, including some Thornden students, were extremely fortunate to have the opportunity to see author and illustrator Chris Riddell.

He produced an illustration for every school attending whilst pupils were arriving.  All pupils were given a card on which to ask Chris a question.  He then picked questions at random and answered them with illustrations.  Questions varied from ‘which of your characters would you like to be’ to ‘what is your favourite shop’!

Chris then spent over an hour signing books for pupils.

After a short break he was then interviewed by Charlotte, Shivani and Katie for BBC School Report Day, which takes place on Thursday, 16th March, before he headed off to Brighton for an interview with the BBC.