A nine-year-old Northbourne Park School pupil's heartfelt 'thank you' message to a top children's author telling him his book was "the best book I have ever read" prompted the writer to make a personal visit to the school.
Year 4 pupil Noah Orchard wrote to Sam Gayton to tell him how much he loved the adventures of his namesake in his book 'The Snow Merchant' and how the book had inspired his father to read to him at bedtimes again - a treat they were both enjoying. He was amazed when the author not only wrote back - but appeared weeks later in his classroom.
The author, whose novels include 'Hercufleas', 'Lilliput' and 'His Royal Whiskers' was so touched by the e-mail he replied to Noah - and then made a special visit to his school to give a talk about books and run a creative writing workshop for Noah and his classmates. He brought a selection of books for the Year 3, 4 and 5 pupils and signed them all.
Noah wrote to the author in January soon after finishing 'The Snow Merchant'. Describing the book in his e-mail he said: "I really loved it. It was adventurous, funny and exciting. I love the bit when Noah turned into a whale. It is amazing as my name is Noah! I am only nine but it is the best book I have ever read. I think you have described Barter very well and the illustrations are the best I’ve ever seen.
"Thank you for writing this book. You have made me look forward to bedtime and it has made me and my Dad start reading together again!"
The author was so touched he wrote back with the message: "Keep reading, and keep cool!" - and was able to thank Noah personally when he visited the school.