1. ITV Report

Keswick pupils publish own book

The Reader has been written by Keswick School pupils Photo: ITV News

Pupils from Keswick School have written and published their own book.

They spent 18 months drafting, editing and re-writing chapters.

“It was quite stressful to be honest. We had to do lots of meeting together and making sure all the chapters worked, and then having to go back and re-write the chapters, sort out the inserts. So it’s a very, very drawn out process.”

‘The Reader’, tells the story of one book's journey through time, the people who read it and what it thinks about those people."

– Ashia Cannon, Year 8.

"We looked into history and into what areas of history we liked. We each chose an area of history that we really liked, like the chapter I was involved in writing, I was really interested in the Tudor period and Lady Jane Grey, so I wrote it about Mary Tudor and Lady Jane Grey."

– Heather Matthews, Year 11.
Pupils looked into history to write their book. Credit: ITV News

When it came to thinking up their pen name, they looked to their library.

Rosemary Aitken, a former pupil and teacher of the school, left it money when she died. Money that went on to fund their library. There is now a memorial plaque dedicated to her in the building.

"When I read that The Reader’s authors were K.S. Aitken I just realised that, obviously, K.S. was Keswick School but I just did wonder if Aitken was after my mother because of the library being named after her."

– Rosmemary’s daughter, Hilary Hankin

The children involved are part of the school’s writing club. Together they came up with the idea to co-author the novel.

The club was set up by Helen Robinson, English teacher and librarian at the school.

"Knowing that there are quite a few children who like to write but that they’re quite dispersed and doing their own thing in isolation I thought it would be nice to start a writing club to get them all together and meet up with other people who like the same thing as them."

– Helen Robinson, English Teacher and Librarian
‘The Reader’ tells the story of one book's journey through time. Credit: ITV News

The book was officially launched last weekend at the Words by the Water literary festival at Theatre By The Lake in Keswick.

It also has an ISBN number which means it can be sold in bookshops and on Amazon, something that’s caused great excitement for the pupils.

"It feels very exciting. I want to be an author when I’m older so It’s quite exciting to be published at the age of 14."

– Samuel Hignett, Year 9.
Pupils will see their book sold around the world. Credit: ITV News

But what’s next for these budding writers?

"We’ve had ideas about another book coming out in that series but we’ve had people giving us ideas for short stories, so I think we’re going to do a separate book instead of going on from that one."

– Anisya Morrison, Year 9.

With their first novel published before they’ve even left school, it’s clear to see these children have a bright future ahead of them. To view a trailer and the first chapter visit the school's website.