Loss, hope and the Literature Festival

Liz is delighted to be speaking at the Ilkley Literature Festival. Come along to All Saints’ Primary School to hear her explore Loss and Hope in Children’s Books on 6 October at 2:30pm.

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The hour long event will include readings from The Finding of Freddie Perkins, reflections on classic childrens’ books which explore difficult themes and how they can help children process loss, and plenty of time for questions and discussion for parents.

Liz is looking forward to getting the chance to talk about some of her own childhood favourites and the impact they had on her, including amongst others The Secret Garden and A Little Princess (Hodgson Burnett), The Railway Children (Nesbit) and C. S. Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia alongside more modern classics in the making.

Find out more details about the event here on the festival’s website.

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St Albans revisited

I was in my hometown visiting family and friends for 10 days or so earlier this month. So it was lovely timing to have the Herts Advertiser pop through my parents’ door with this article in while I was there…

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This morning I’ve popped a copy of The Finding of Freddie Perkins in the post to the inspirational teacher mentioned, care of my old school – I hope she likes it!

The St Albans chapter and more

The St Albans and Harpenden Review published an article about Freddie’s St Albans connection yesterday. In it, I’m quoted paying tribute to one of my A level English teachers in my hometown – Mrs Asher… I meant every word. What an amazing gift it is to receive encouragement and support from truly excellent teachers and mentors…

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It was a good day to be looking back to this, because in the evening I judged the stories submitted by 8 and 9 year olds closer to my current hometown to The Grove Bookshop’s story writing competition. I hope my words of encouragement to the winners and runners up will fuel them to keep writing too.

This morning I joked to a friend that a writer’s life is more grammar than glamour! But for me there is a huge privilege and fulfilment involved in everything I create – whether fiction or not. The joy comes in the inspiration – a connection with the beauty of an idea that then goes on to connect other people to the things that matter most.

Review in ‘Teach Primary’

Freddie’s editor sent me this lovely review from Teach Primary today…

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“No one likes losing things, but loss can be especially difficult to process for a child; whether a treasured posession, a sense of direction, or a loved one.

“In her debut novel, Liz Baddaley addresses this issue with beautiful sensitivity and remarkable empathy, taking her young hero on a journey from bereavement and displacement to the rediscovery of himself, the people closest to him, and where he now fits into a changed universe.

“At the start of the story, Freddie is struggling to manage powerful and confushing emotions following the death of his mother – and so is his dad. Moving away from their London home to live with his granny in a remote part of Scotland doesn’t make any sense to him, but Baddaley gradually and credibly introduces a strand of magic realism to the narrative that results in the whole family finding a way to move past the hurt and anger to a hopeful future.”

Finding Freddie in Scotland

Delighted by today’s hide and seek news… Freddie is available in ALL of Waterstone’s Scottish branches. For those of you who have already met him, the reason for this will be very clear. If not, you can find out why he’s so welcome north of the border by reading the first chapter of his story here.

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Finding Freddie in Ilkley

Freddie did indeed come to my house early, but that didn’t stop me going into Ilkley town centre to find him today – on his official launch day. Thank you to The Grove Bookshop, Ilkley for welcoming me so warmly, and for all their support for The Finding of Freddie Perkins. I left behind a few signed copies for the next few people who go looking for Freddie…

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