Award- winning Canadian Author Susin Nielsen engages and inspires Year 8 pupils
We were delighted to welcome Canadian author Susin Nielsen to promote her latest book, No Fixed Address. Susin had always wanted to be an author and she even had proof in the form of her childhood diary which she proudly produced, reading out an entry of that exact wish, when she was 11. As a young girl she was often left to her own devices while her mum was working long hours as a nurse, and this gave her plenty of time to write stories. One of which she made into a book and persuaded her school librarian to stock in the library, and was eventually borrowed by 4 students!
In 2010 Susin won the Ontario Library Association’s Red Maple Award for Word Nerd about 12 year-old Ambrose, a self-described nerd. When bullies at his latest school almost kill him, his overprotective mother decides he will be home-schooled. Ambrose then strikes up an unlikely friendship. No Fixed Address centres around 13-year-old Felix who lives with his mother and pet gerbil Horatio, and is brilliant at memorising facts and trivia. However, Felix and his mom Astrid have a secret: they are living in a van. The story tackles the serious issue of homelessness with compassion and humour, as a quote from author Phil Earl confirms, “Not many writers can put comedy and heartbreak in the same book, never mind the same page, but Susin does it effortlessly.”
Susin quizzed the girls on one of her books, giving away a free copy of Word Nerd to the girl with the correct answer. The visit is sure to have encouraged our aspiring young writers.