Tales of Boarding, Life and Love

Ken SpillmanKen Spillman

The Christ Church Residential Community has been abuzz with visits from two well-known authors in recent weeks.

Year 7 to 9 boarding students, who have been engrossed in Ken Spillman’s latest book Love is a UFO, took part in a workshop hosted by the award-winning author. In Love is a UFO, Dr Spillman delves into the mind of a young boy dealing with life and love in today’s online world. The story is written and presented to engage young readers and make reading a positive experience to come back to.

Dr Spillman discussed his novel and encouraged the boys to read for recreation, rather than just for school. He believes authors need to embrace the relationships between books and other media and that the key to engaging young readers is to recognise patterns of reading that are emerging in digital societies.

This week, boarders found something in common with author and comedian Jon Doust. Mr Doust, a former student and boarder at Christ Church, shared excerpts from Boy on a Wire, due to be released mid-2009. The crossover book, described as “a sort of fiction based on a kind of life Jon once knew in a private boarding school in the early 1960s”, has a resonance with boys.

Boy on a Wire is fast-paced, action-packed and full of laughs gleaned from his and others’ experiences. However, there is also a psychological side to the book, which explores bullying, father and son relationships and depression. Mr Doust’s comedy background had the students riveted as he shared stories about sleeping in dorms, communal showering and encounters with the cane.

Both authors have been regular visitors to Christ Church providing the boys with some comic relief as well as something to think about.

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