Berkhamsted School plays host to two really good authors for children, part 2: Paul Dowswell

Paul Dowswell, a children’s author, spoke to Year 7 and Year 8 boys on the  research he carried out to assist him in his writing of his historical novel Auslander.  Set against the backdrop of Hitler and the Second World War, Paul examined what it was like for the Germans who were against Hitler’s regime and against Nazism.  He captures  the essence of their fear whilst highlighting the true bravery and courage shown by  German individuals . It’s a superb novel suitable for both children and adults alike.

Within the presentation Paul spoke to the boys on what German life was like under Hitler. The control he exercised across all areas of life including babies’ first books, the family unit, a doll’s house, children’s games and political postcards: all examples of primary sources which he came across whilst carrying out his research in Berlin . The slides in the photos hone in on specific examples of the control, manipulation and propaganda which was cloaked across Germany.  Although the boys are not specifically focussing on this period of History they did impress Paul with their knowledge  and their engagement during the event was a joy to the eyes.

From Fact to Fiction

We invited Paul in specifically to fit in with a forthcoming Library research project embedded in their scheme of work.  Year 8 will be involved in carrying out a History research project on Elizabethan life. Although this author does not write about the Elizabethans he does very successfully include historical facts into a wonderful and thrilling story and it is this which is the key, as we want our boys to do something similar. When the project lessons  begin next term, we will be able to look back and discuss his process of research, sources he used and finally how he uses those facts in his story. We hope that this will help the boys when they come to write their own historical diaries.

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Author: Berkhamsted School Library

Main aims for Berkhamsted School Library • to provide a central resource for the whole school curriculum • to encourage an ethos of enquiry and discovery • to assist pupils in becoming confident and independent learners • to develop research and information skills throughout the school • to offer resources which enrich cultural values and experiences for pupils, as well as have a role in their recreational life and promote reading for pleasure as a lifelong activity

6 thoughts on “Berkhamsted School plays host to two really good authors for children, part 2: Paul Dowswell”

    1. Thank you so much for your comment on our blog. At the moment, we are looking into ways of increasing traffic to our blog whilst at the same time running a very busy school library! We haven’t explored web hosting yet, but would like to consider this as something we can look at in the New Year. It will be worth thinking, too, about how we can use social networking to our advantage, in encouraging students to use it in an educational environment. We would welcome any suggestions on this point.

      Best wishes,
      Berkhamsted School Library

  1. I am really inspired with your writing talents as smartly as with the structure for your blog. Is that this a paid topic or did you customize it yourself? Either way stay up the nice quality writing, it is uncommon to look a great blog like this one today..

    1. Thank you for your lovely comments on our blog. We don’t have paid topics, we simply write about books that interest us as individuals and about reading activities that we organise through our work. I hope that our enthusiasm shines through! Keep watching and please feel free to get back to us if you think we can explore things further…

      Best wishes,
      Berkhamsted School Library

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