Click on the cover to find out about the Graphic Novel Fool’s Gold created by Teenagers at the Dearne High School in Yorkshire.
Win a full-colour copy of Fool’s Gold signed by the pupils and staff of The Dearne High School that took part in its’ creation.
This is currently the only signed edition available to the public.
To enter the competition answer this simple question:
What is the name of the group of friends in Fool’s Gold? (the answer can be found in the second interview question)
Answers in the comments section below.
This competition is global.
One entry per person.
The winner will be chosen at random using random.org
The competition will close at the end of February 2010
“What’s most surprising about Fool’s Gold is how cohesive the overall storyline is. English teacher and project overseer Peter Shaw was able to involve such talent as GP Taylor, the writer of fantasy novel Shadowmancer, and former chief editor of 2000AD Alan McKenzie (whose book How to Draw and Sell Comic Strips, incidentally, should be any aspiring comic creator’s first stop), and it shows. Putting together such a project is no mean feat –mainstream publishers such as Marvel and DC often struggle under such lofty ambitions – and that this whopping 192 page volume exists at all is a credit to Mr Shaw and company.
Fool’s Gold is actually the second book by Dearne High, the first being Out of the Shadows: An Anthology of Fantasy Stories. I hope that it’s not the last such project from Dearne High, and that other schools are inspired to follow suit. As someone who has fought adamantly against genre and medium preconceptions, I genuinely believe that a generation of imaginative teenagers is being deterred from reading, and consequently writing, due to insipid and restrictive teaching.”
Carl Doherty www.shelfabuse.com
“It’s not every day that you see a 130-page graphic novel produced by school children but Fool’s Gold is a notable exception. This book has come together through the collective efforts of the pupils and teachers of Dearne High, a Yorkshire school that’s trail-blazing new ways of interacting with its local community and the wider world.
You’ll have to alter your expectations about what a book by children might be like. Featuring a multi-layered story with additional material by a number of professional comic writers, artists, editors, photographers and novelists, this is an extraordinary feat of co-operation, merging real people from the school with local folklore and story telling. A phenomenal achievement.”
Andy Shaw of Grovel: Graphic novel news and reviews
Carousel: The Guide To Children’s Books:
“This graphic novel has been produced by pupils, between the ages 12 and 15, at Dearne High School in Rotherham. It features students, staff and current favourite authors in real situations. A first class production which many mainstream publishing houses would be delighted to have on their list. And a bargain price!”
Blog critic.org (Emm):
“The students have produced and starred in a graphic novel of such astounding quality that it is hard to believe that it was made by children.
Fool’s Gold is a graphic novel about books, learning, history and social responsibility. It is a treasure hunt and ghost story that features the students themselves as the central characters. At its heart, Fool’s Gold is an educational novel but it is far from boring; it is an exciting and interactive journey through history that broaches the main issues that children and young people had to face in the past.
The novel is an absolute gem. Graphic novels have long been considered a less intelligent version of reading for pupils that found real books too hard to follow. The students from The Dearne High have turned this notion on its head as the story-within-a-story tells of the organisation, planning and effort that goes into a collaborative effort such as this. Far beyond the historical and social value of the story, the students are carrying the clear message that this is something that anyone can do…”
It is no small measure of the success of this graphic novel that it has made me want to visit all of the locations that the children from The Dearne High visited and to learn more about the history of that time. The fact that so many well known people volunteered their time to help with this project is impressive and also makes me want to learn more about them and their books.
The description of the graphic novel says that it is a book written by students for students, but the quality is superb and I dare say that parents and other adults will want to read it, too. I’m certainly not giving up my copy!”
The School Librarian Magazine – Rosemary Woodman
First: ‘The Book’
“This substantial graphic novel intersperses text chapters with chapters of strip cartooning and atmospheric digital imagery. Poetry, prose, photography and art are very effectively juxtaposed.”
Second: ‘The Creative Project’
“The story behind the book is an inspiration for secondary pupils, librarians and teachers looking for new ways to express creativity and to extend reading horizons.”
Comics Bulletin – Karyn Pinter
“Fool’s Gold is essentially a literary field trip. What a hell of a school project! I wish I had been able to write a comic for class–it sure beats book reports and standardized tests any day of the week. To be mentored on the project by some big name writers, including Bernard Cornwell, author of the Sharpe series, is also pretty cool. Helping out with the pencilling is Kevin Hopgood–a Marvel artist.
I’m pretty impressed–not just by getting some really cool people to help out with this comic, but by the kids who wrote it. When I say “kids,” I mean kids. The writers are all between 12 and 15 years old, and they’ve put together a graphic novel that is a very valiant effort–a very cool mix between a Harry Potter-esque mystery and paranormal investigation that centres on a mysterious sighting in a school of four ghosts (three sons and their father).
It is remarkable…that a school would give kids a chance like this to publish a comic. I wish any of the schools I attended had given students that option over the same old school newspaper or yearbook.”
‘Fool’s Gold’ is an explosive graphic novel which features many of the students from the Dearne High. Its gripping story keeps you on the edge of your seat as the story unravels allowing you to discover the many characters and different stories all wrapped together within this magical experience!
The novel also features well known authors including Ian McMillan, G.P Taylor, Robert Swindells and teen writing sensation Bali Rai and many of the best authors from the Dearne High. This novel is more than unique, it’s like no other!
The Dearne visited and worked in the locations in the novel and this played a significant part in the outcomes of the overall story depicted in the book. We don’t think you will find another book written like this by another school any where…. If you know of any… please contact The Dearne High: A Specialist Humanities College!
We deeply recommend that you buy this book and give it a taster and see if it ‘tingles’ your reading senses, as much as it did ours!
Chloe and Clodie
I know it’s just an opinion, but ‘Fool’s Gold’ is a brilliant graphic novel and once I had purchased the book from school, I went and bought the first book the school wrote called ‘Out of the Shadows: An Anthology of Fantasy stories’ from Waterstones, in Meadowhall, Sheffield.
‘Fool’s Gold’ was one of the best books I have ever read, because it included lots of students, teachers and famous authors and when I read it, I wanted to improve at English. I want to go into the army and I now realise that you have to be good at literacy in order to join. I am going to be!
On the 25th September 2008 the Classics Illustrated line of graphic novels were relaunched in the UK by Jeff Brooks of the Classic Comic Store. Originally launched in the 1940’s Classics Illustrated have not been published in the UK since 1970.
All the original artwork has been re-coloured with digitally enhanced covers and the series will be available in WH Smiths, Borders and other leading retailers throughout the UK. They will also be in stores in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and the Republic of Ireland. Published monthly, the first issues will be The War of the Worlds and Snow White followed by Oliver Twist and The Ugly Duckling in October.
These abridged texts are ideal to introduce reluctant readers to classic literature without putting them off due to the length or density of the original texts.
The books include a one-page biography of the authors as well as suggested themes and topics for post-reading discussion.
Each of the books ends with the text: Now that you have read the Classics Illustrated edition, don’t miss the added enjoyment of reading the original, obtainable at your school or public library.
Classical Comics is releasing their second title by Charles Dickens – Great Expectations. As with most of their books it is available in two versions:
Original Text: The classic novel brought to life in full colour. The original text is set within a graphic novel format using as much of the text and dialogue as possible given the space allowed.
Quick Text: The full story in quick, modern English for a fast-paced read. This uses the same artwork as the Original Text version, but with fewer and simpler words to allow reluctant, younger and/or emerging readers to enjoy the book.
I am a fan of the books produced by Classical Comics, their graphic novels do not look out of place on the graphic novel display shelves in my library. The original and quick text versions are both incredibly popular with students, people looking to improve their level of English and people who generally enjoy graphic novels.
Winner of the 2008 Ignatz Award for Best Graphic Novel, and appearing on the New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Book List, Skim is being published by Walker Books in the UK.
The story, told in the form of a diary and comic strip is seen from the perspective of Kimberly Keiko “Skim” Cameron, an aspiring Wiccan and goth who is coping with a broken arm and separated parents when the suicide of (a possibly gay) ex boyfriend of a classmate throws hers and everyones’ lives into turmoil.
Having to deal with a guidance counselor who is concerned about her state of mind (goths being prone to self-harm and suicide) and the antagonism of the girls in the Celebrate Life club; she also has to cope with the growing realisation that she is falling in love with her Englsih teacher Mrs Archer and the fact that her Wiccan circle also serves as a branch of the local AA.
Skim is a brilliantly told and illustrated coming of age tale that will appeal to young readers and adults alike. This book deals with a number of themes that are relevant to teenagers (including suicide, parental separation, youthful alienation, the journey to finding oneself, love and many others) the story is told in a way that is hilarious and heart-breaking in equal measure. Skim is a likable (if sarcastic) protagonist who draws you in and makes you feel what she is feeling and at the end leaves you wanting to know what happens next.
It has been described by Paul Gravett as one of the best comics of 2008 and is truly deserving of that accolade!
Skim is due out in May and is highly recommended for all Graphic Novel collections!