Author R.A Spratt visits young Mudgee readers

Best-selling author R.A. Spratt brought a number of tales – including her latest book The Peski Kids - to Mudgee’s three primary schools as part of the Young Readers' Festival.

Spratt, whose background includes television writing, published her first book The Adventures of Nanny Piggins and has since gone onto to enjoy success with 18 books. Including the ‘Friday Barnes, Girl Detective’ series.

However, it’s not enough to simply bring books to school visits such as Friday, it’s just as much a performance piece.

“You have to make it entertaining, particularly when you’ve got that many kids, you’ve got to hold their attention,” she said.

“There’s sort of an art to letting it veer out of control where they feel involved but then bring it back.

“It takes a lot of practice, I used to do stand up comedy years ago and those skills definitely help.”

This year has seen the Mudgee Readers’ Festival (August 10-12) incorporate the Young Readers’ Festival for the first time.

It began on Thursday evening with Harry Potter Trivia and continues across the weekend.

Spratt said that the addition to the event was “fantastic”.

“I do a lot of youth literary festivals and it’s a great thing for a small community to do,” she said.

“It’s really smart, especially for a town where you don’t have a book shop it’s a great way to introduce kids to authors they may not have thought of reading before.” 

Having just finished her 19th book – the next installment in the ‘Peski Kids’ series – she said one of the keys to her success is like the school visits, keep the reader engaged.

“I really hit on something with Friday Barnes with cliffhanger endings, because it means kids rush out and buy the next one when it comes out,” she said.