1. ITV Report

Helping the reluctant readers

Craig Allen with pupils from Lord Lawson of Beamish School, Gateshead Photo: ITV Tyne Tees

As a child, Craig Allen wasn't interested in reading. He picked up a novel by chance when he was twenty, and has been fascinated by words ever since.

Craig is a student support worker at Lord Lawson of Beamish School in Birtley, Gateshead. He was determined that today's young people wouldn't feel as alienated by books as he had been. Craig began writing and now his story, Camp Terror, has been published.

The book is 1500 words long and aims to appeal to both boys and girls. The story is about a school party which goes on a camping trip and comes face-to-face with a werewolf.

The book is illustrated. It begins with lists of difficult words and the main characters. It ends with a series of questions, so teachers can ensure their students have taken in what they've read.

Some of Craig's Year 7 students took the book home to test it out. One pupil, Rebecca Mayer said:

It was really exciting and it was quite mysterious and it had quite a lot of suspense. It was quite riveting.

– Rebecca Mayer, Year 7 pupil
Rebecca Mayer Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

Craig Allen has already written another seventeen stories which he is hoping will also find their way into print. He is now working on his eighteenth.