Hackney schoolchildren have joined forces with an award winning children’s author to write and publish a story inspired by the Olympics.
‘Sam and Ruby’s Olympic Adventure’, by Hackney school children and Tony Bradman, follows two children as they journey back through time to learn more about the history of the Olympics with the aid of a Bill and Ted style time machine.
Travelling through ancient Greece, 19th century France, Mexico City, Beijing and elsewhere the duo come back to Hackney filled with stories and ready to deliver a school assembly on the Games.
The paperback book was launched on Wednesday 18 April, as we marked 100 days to go to the Olympics, and copies will be available in bookshops and libraries across the country. Interest has been so high that the book has already sold out and publishers Barrington Stoke have had to do a reprint.
The book is a culmination of workshops with school pupils and Tony Bradman, who has written over 50 books for young people. A special Hackney edition features a brightly coloured jacket designed by pupils from Our Lady’s Convent High School. The project was part of the Cultural Olympiad.
Author Tony Bradman said: “I never worked with children before in this way, it’s a completely new thing for me. The children gave some really interesting contributions, the workshops were funny and lively and I really enjoyed it. I love the book and I think the children helped to make Sam and Ruby really strong characters.”
Lorenzo Dale, 13, of The City Academy, Hackney said: “It was a good challenge as I’d never done anything like it, we were able to meet the author and I’m really pleased with the end product.
Sakib Ali, 14, of The City Academy, Hackney said: “It’s only 100 days until Olympics and it’s going to be so exciting as it’s right near our school. Writing this book has helped us to feel part of that excitement.”
Mairi Kidd, Managing Director of Barrington Stoke, said: “I’ve always believed that young people’s involvement strengthens books. They know what young people want to read and that’s what was so valuable about this project. Being a publisher based in Scotland, the involvement of children from an Olympic borough has been fantastic.”
Steve Belk, of The Learning Trust, said: “It’s been fantastic to see children from different schools in Hackney come together and collaborate on this book. It’s extremely well written and the students obviously really added value. It gives a real insight into the Olympics and makes you think. Thanks to the author Tony Bradman and publishers Barrington Stoke for their support.”