Have you ever tried to hold the attention of a 15 year old for an hour through the power of words, let alone eighty 15 year olds? Well this is exactly what a Master Storyteller can do.
One of the highlights on Campus this week was the riveting presentation by Paul MacDonald, Master Storyteller and owner of The Children’s Bookshop at Beecroft. Our lucky Year 9 and Year 10 students enjoyed an hour-long discourse on the power and pleasure of reading to improve literacy.
Paul recapped plots of various books, from picture books to adult novels, outlining plot devices used to engage readers like opening sentences, alternate histories and multiple perspectives (though never once disclosing the story’s end).
The presentation was interspersed with personal tales of reading, writing and bookselling and plenty of opportunities for students to share their own thoughts on books they had read.
He encouraged the students to embrace reading, to not be afraid of reading challenging books, to try different authors and genres and lastly to pick up a classic every so often.
His energy and passion for reading for pleasure was contagious, with many students approaching him after the presentation to promise that they would indeed keep reading.
Paul is a passionate advocate of reading for enjoyment with a particular focus on encouraging adolescents and young adults to continue reading to develop their literacy skills.
Paul McDonald’s impressive resume includes a Master of Education, along with studies at the Globe Theatre, London. Prior to owning The Children’s Bookshop, he worked for almost twenty years as a teacher in primary and secondary schools. He is the recipient of numerous awards in teaching including the Premier’s English Teachers Association English Scholarship and the New South Wales Quality Teachers Award. He also received the Maurice Saxby Award in 2012 for his contributions to raising the profile of teen fiction and was winner of the 2016 Lady Cutler Award for services to children’s literature and literacy in Australia.