I first heard about the book a Fifth Form English class planned to write in a Publishing class I took in June 2015. The lecturer Ms. Maris Edwards was one of the participants in the class. Ms. Edwards took the Publishing class for further insight and ideas on publishing the student’s book. What a fabulous idea, I thought. I now own a copy of Chapter 5: a collection of stories we didn’t want to write. I am inspired by this published work to finish my own novel. I wrote about the events leading up to the published book in this blog post.
The Book Launch
The launch for Chapter 5: a compilation of stories we didn’t want to write was fantastic. Upon entering, I was immediately captivated by the decor at the Teacher’s Resource Centre. No detail had been neglected. The beautiful drawings on the white board depicted a library and other reading scenes. Copies of the book were artfully arranged on a table on the front of the room. The balled up papers at the foot of the table were a nice touch. I found out later that the students and teacher sourced and used real discarded paper from in and about the High School.
Dr. Linda Banks ably chaired the programme and kept the crowd entertained, informed and inspired by sharing meaningful anecdotes, quotes and stories. One aspect of the programme that I thoroughly enjoyed was “Two views – From the Back of the Class and From the Front.” Nakia Webster and Jayda Hughes entertained the audience as they reminisced about their views and experiences from these vantage points in the classroom. I was a front of the class student so I found myself also reminiscing about my English classes 16 years before. I also enjoyed reflections on the journey to the published book shared by the Deputy Principal Rita Celestine Carty, my former English teacher and former Head of the English Department.
The Young Writers and their Teacher
Finally, the teen writers read excerpts from their work. My imagination was immediately fired up. I knew many of the students growing up and it was fascinating to see where their minds and imaginations took them in this published work.
The stories by these young authors (Ban-waun Fivae) are intriguing. With story themes ranging from haunted houses, to assault, to corruption we get a glimpse into the viewpoint, thoughts, imagination and perhaps inspired reality of these Fifth Form students.
Maris Edwards, the teacher of the class and editor of the book, gave a reflection on the journey to the published book. She shared the struggle of getting some students to open their minds and imaginations and translate that into writing. She then congratulated the students on their achievement. Her students, management, parents and the community gave Mrs. Edwards high applause for her vision and efforts to produce the book.
Especially relevant, the Department of Youth and Culture is the platinum sponsor of Chapter 5. Shellya Rogers, Senior Programme Officer, Culture shared how proud the Department was to support this newest piece of literature by young Anguillian authors. Shana Jno-Baptiste designed the book cover and I promise whenever you see the cover you will smile.
My thoughts on the book
I got my book copy signed by perhaps half of the students. Hopefully, I have a signature of a future regional or international author! I read the book from cover to cover when I got home. The stories are only one to two pages long so it is easy to read. Many are cliff hangers which leave the reader wanting more. My imagination quickly filled in the gaps as I concluded how the stories would end. You must read it for yourself. I definitely recommend this book!
The link to the press release on the book below provides further details and insight on this new book.