I worked for many years as a school psychologist, with particular interests in reading delay and children’s thinking. I taught Philosophy for Children in classes from pre-school to university, encouraging students to think more deeply and analytically.
In 1997, seeing a need for appealing Philosophy for Children classroom materials, I wrote a set of 6 books – The Brain Strain books, comprising short stories, big picture books and teacher manuals, and these were published by Macmillan. The following book of short stories, Changing My Mind, again provided springboards for lively discussion and laughter.
The Time Riders series were online novels and later paperback books for students with a need for extension, providing intellectual and philosophical challenges.
My experience as a school psychologist and my research on studies of reading delay showed strong evidence that the majority of students who have difficulty learning to read, have poor phonic understanding. As I was unable to find suitable books for students who needed exciting, fun and age appropriate stories with a phonically controlled and cumulative vocabulary, I wrote the Rip Rap novels, published by Cumquatmay. There are three series, each of twelve books, two teacher manuals and a board game.
A Series: Kidnap, Fish; Street Kid; The Crabs; The Train and the Pain; Keeping the Light; Storm Shadow; The Black Eagle; Desert Moon; Dragon Fire; The Clones Strike Back; The Zone in the Mirror.
B Series: Metal Man; The Lizards; Come Back; When the Zoths Come; Queen of Slaves; Sweet Defeat; The Room with No Door; Fear of Water; Hard Yard; The Bell Tower; The Hiding Ground; Killer Trail.
Club Series: The Camping Club; This School is Rubbish; Sid; In the Garden Next Door; The Hunters’ Puzzle; The Naming Party; Mega Time; Queen of Atticus; Mister Short’s Amazing Bed; The Bold Buccaneers; The Bounty Quest; Book Week.
Now I want to try to make a picture book, while staring at the sea out of my windows, eating home grown vegetables, and hearing the silkie hens lay my eggs.