Pupils at Banbury school enjoy first ever virtual visit from children's author

Pupils at a Banbury school recently enjoyed their first ever virtual visit from children's author.

Friday, 26th March 2021, 5:03 pm
Updated Friday, 26th March 2021, 5:04 pm
Pupils at Harriers Academy recently enjoyed their first ever virtual author visit by Josh Lacey, who wrote Hope Jones Saves The World

Pupils at Harriers Academy recently enjoyed their first ever virtual author visit and learnt that you are never too old or young to help play a part in making a difference to the planet.

The message was central to a literary talk involving best-selling children’s writer Josh Lacey.

Year 4 pupils at the Banbury primary school have been reading Mr Lacey’s book, Hope Jones Saves The World. They enjoyed being able to discuss its main themes of climate change and pollution, during a recent Zoom call.

Author, Josh Lacey, who wrote Hope Jones Saves The World, led a virtual author visit to pupils at Harriers Academy in Banbury

The book’s protagonist is Hope Jones, a 10-year-old school girl who is worried about climate change.

She makes a New Year’s resolution to give up plastic and wants to inspire others to do the same with her website hopejonessavestheworld.com.

When she realises her local supermarket seems to stock more unnecessary plastic than food, she makes it her mission to do something about it.

Hope Jones Saves The World is one of three in the series, the others are Hope Jones Will Not Eat Meat and Hope Jones Clears The Air.

Mr Lacey told his young audience he created the books and character to inspire children to be hopeful about being able to make difference when it comes to climate change and the environment.

And in a case of his art influencing his reality, Mr Lacey confessed that Hope has encouraged him to change his everyday routines to help play his part in saving the planet.

He said: ‘’One of the reasons I wrote the Hope Jones books is because I wanted to think about what ordinary people can do to save the planet. The small things. So yes, for example I’m trying to walk and cycle more. I have two daughters and we all cycle now. I also recycle as much as possible, use less plastic like Hope and thinking about what I eat. I have been doing small things to try and make a difference.’’

Mr Lacey’s virtual author talk came just weeks after Captain Sir Tom Moore passed away. Sir Tom, a former businessman and WW2 veteran, raised a phenomenal £32.7 million for the NHS after deciding to walk 100 laps of his back garden before his 100th birthday during the country’s first lockdown. His resolve and dedication combined with his humour and wisdom touched the world and turned him into an overnight celebrity.

Mr Lacey said Hope and Sir Tom together ‘’show that you’re never too young or old to make a difference.’’

Alex Pearson, principal at Harriers Academy, said: ‘’The virtual author visit was a first for the children at Harriers and really enjoyed listening to the inspiration and motivation behind Hope Jones. All of the children prepared questions and were captivated by Josh’s responses and encouragement.’’

Harriers Academy is part of the Aspirations Academies Trust and the virtual author talk is one of many taking place in schools across the Trust this year in partnership with Penguin Random House.

Virtual author talks with Sally Nicholls and Julia Jarman have been organised for Dashwood Banbury Academy and also Wykham Park Banbury and its sister school Futures Institute.