On Monday 22 November, we hosted a multi-schools event in partnership with Matt Haig and Canongate Books to celebrate the film release of A Boy Called Christmas.
Matt Haig, who wrote the bestselling novel behind the new adaptation, gave 92 schools a sneak peak of the Sky Original film out in cinemas and on Sky Cinema on 26 November.
Over 11,000 children signed up to the event and were treated to a story reading by the author as well as brilliant writing tips and a create your own ‘baddie’ character workshop to inspire budding writers. Haig encouraged the children to see the power and wellbeing benefits of reading.
“There’s no better fun in life than having a book. Those times in life when you’re feeling lonely or lost, a book is a friend to you.”Matt Haig, author of A Boy Called Christmas
During the event Year 3 and 4 pupils put their questions to the author, asking about everything from his journey as a writer to the specific details about the book and his belief in magic.
One pupil asked ‘Do you truly believe in magic? What does that look like in this world?’, while another asked ‘Who do you think is the bravest character in A Boy Called Christmas?’
In A Boy Called Christmas, an ordinary young boy called Nikolas sets out on an extraordinary adventure into the snowy north in search of his father who is on a quest to discover the fabled village of the elves, Elfhelm.
Taking with him a headstrong reindeer called Blitzen and a loyal pet mouse, Nikolas soon meets his destiny in this magical and endearing story that proves nothing is impossible
Canongate generously gifted 500 copies of the book alongside the virtual workshop, as part of the National Literacy Trust’s Connecting Stories project, funded by Arts Council England.
Connecting Stories addresses the literacy attainment gap across our 14 Hub areas. It provides a programme of exciting events: from virtual author visits, creative writing competitions, book donations, and a variety of activities for families to enjoy.
The film adaptation, which is a precursor to his novel The Girl Who Saved Christmas, is to star Maggie Smith, Jim Broadbent and Sally Hawkins. The original book was published by Canongate and illustrated by Chris Mould in 2015.
Matt Haig has previously thrown his support behind Read Manchester's Take 10 campaign, which encourages both children and adults to read for 10 minutes every day.