Christ’s Hospital School has welcomed back former pupil and author Joel Arcanjo to talk about his critically acclaimed debut children’s book Crookhaven – The School for Thieves.
Joel delivered a fun, interactive talk to local primary school children, who were invited specially for the occasion, as well as to Year 7 pupils from Christ’s. This was followed by a book-signing session.
Drawing some inspiration from his time at Christ’s Hospital School, as well as from Harry Potter, Joel’s novel is published by Hachette UK and has already been named Sunday Times “Children’s Book of the Week” and Waterstones’ “Best Children’s Paperback”.
Crookhaven tells the story of Gabriel, a brilliant young pickpocket. One day, practising his criminal art at a train station, he’s caught – but instead of being arrested, he is recruited to Crookhaven, a top-secret school for young thieves in training. Taught subjects such as lock-picking, forgery and crim-nastics Crookhaven graduates are released into the world to do good – by conning the bad into giving back to the innocent.
A spokesperson from Vale School, Worthing, whose Year 5 group attended the talk said:
“We were honoured and excited to meet Joel and enjoyed the personal introduction he gave us to the characters and storyline of Crookhaven. His explanation of his origin story and the process behind the development of his characters, some based on his own friends from childhood, was fascinating for us as young writers. We loved the opportunity to interact with him and really hope some of our ideas will be included in Joel’s third book!”
Head teacher of Christ’s Hospital, Simon Reid, said: “We were very proud to welcome Joel back and delighted to see him share his enthusiasm for reading and writing with his young audience, who seemed truly inspired.”