On Tuesday 5 December children from secondary schools across Lancashire met author Frank Cottrell-Boyce at the Blackpool Tower for a special event to mark the launch of our Reading Leaders programme to secondary schools in Lancashire.

During the event, the award-winning author talked to the pupils about his latest children’s book, The Wonder Brothers, a story about two young magicians who announce they will bring back Blackpool’s famous tower after it dramatically vanishes on the night of the Grand Lights Switch-on. Frank also entertained the assembled crowd with a magic trick of his own! 

Reading Leaders is a peer tutoring programme that enables older students (Years 9-13) to help younger students to improve their reading skills and confidence. The programme is beneficial to both the younger students who receive support and encouragement, and the older students who are credited under a leadership programme that they can use to further their education or career.

Coram Beanstalk is a wonder. Its Reading Leaders programme for secondary schools and community volunteers in primary schools has opened the doors to the magical world of reading for thousands of children. Since my latest book is about the disappearance of Blackpool Tower, it was truly wonderful for me to come to Blackpool to make sure it’s still there!

Frank Cottrell-Boyce

The children were delighted to be able to ask Frank an array of questions including what is his favourite and least-favourite book and who would he like to get stuck in a lift with! They were also thrilled to be able to have him sign their copies of The Wonder Brothers.

It has been a joy to hear more about Frank’s wonderful book today and to share the magic of reading with local children. We’re pleased to be now working in partnership with several schools in Lancashire through our Reading Leaders programme and it’s fantastic to hear about the impact already seen for the older and younger pupils involved. We’d love to hear from other schools across the county who would be interested in joining us and boosting their pupils’ essential life skills.

Amy Lewis, Head of Coram Beanstalk 

Coram Beanstalk were supported in putting on this event in the iconic Blackpool Tower - the starring feature in Frank's latest book - by Merlin Entertainment and Blackpool City Council, for which we are hugely grateful. 

Photo credits to Kelvin Lister-Stuttard, Blackpool Gazette