HAPPY Ending; Time off Janet Tansley Talks to Author Anne about a Fine Way to Love Literature

Article excerpt

Byline: Janet Tansley

SHE'S one of the best-loved authors for children and adults. But Anne Fine never imagined becoming a writer.

"When I was young it never occurred to me," she says. "I think I must have thought that books were born on the library shelves.

"But I was good at writing stories and I had a good deal of practice.

"My primary school teacher came in every Monday morning in the worst of moods He'd lay his leather strap across the front of the desk, then he'd chalk up three titles on the board and ask for silence until break time."

Anne loved those lessons: "I covered reams of paper. I learned to judge the form and length of a story. It was the best training I could ever have had."

And she will share more of her secrets and stories on a visit to town this Thursday when, together with Spooks' author Joseph Delaney, she arrives to launch Sefton's National Year Of Reading and celebrations for World Book Day.

"Books are so valuable and reading such a skill," says Anne. "And there is so much pleasure you can get from it.

"These days there is always something 'easier' children can do but we must encourage them to read. The benefits are huge: children can test their own selves, explore inner emotions, develop their imagination."

And she believes parents can show the way: "Children will not take advice, they will follow example.

"If parents don't read, books aren't going to go down very well.

"But success is about finding the right book for the right child at the right time."

Former Children's Laureate Anne and Joseph will join Mayor of Sefton, Cllr Richard Hands, at Crosby Civic Hall.

The event will see the authors host talks and question and answer sessions for primary schoolchildren and secondary school pupils during the day. …