Joss Abbs Brown shares his thoughts on MCBF 2015

By Joss Abbs Brown, age 11

In 2015 Manchester held their yearly celebration of children’s books at Manchester Children’s Book Festival (MCBF). Last year in 2014 it was a great two weeks of events but this year they surpassed themselves. It was a brilliant programme of events that I and many other families enjoyed.

There were many inspirational authors such as Alex Wheatle and James Dawson who each rose and battled their own personal obstacles to achieve their dream which shows how we can do or be anything we want to be when we try. Alex Scarrow also had to overcome personal difficulties. At first he had no job or qualifications as he dropped out of school at the age of 16, but finally managed to secure work as a game designer. In a few years he rose and started to preview his own game designs and had to try and persuade his bosses to create his games. However his ideas were all rejected so eventually he gave up his job and began to write. He soon became the great author we now know him as. He used some of his game ideas in his now famous series Time Riders.

There have also been poetry events where poets came to hold open mic events. The floor was open for adults and children to read their favourite poem. I also performed at this reading “I opened a Book” by Julia Donaldson which for me sums up what books and poems are all about, becoming immersed in an imaginary world.

One of the poets, Dominic Berry, believed I did very well which shows how supportive Manchester Children’s Book Festival is. I am hoping that next year will be just as brilliant. I really love coming to the varied events and it is very good how it inspires young people to read. I have really enjoyed the Poetry sessions and have written my own poem in which I have tried to sum up some of the great authors I have met and stories and poems I have been introduced to. I would like to thank the organisers, James Draper and Kaye Tew. I hope you like my poem.

(To celebrate the Manchester Children’s Book Festival/MCBF)
A pen, a quill,
A windowsill,
To look upon the world,
A word, a page
A powerful mage,
A new world unfurled.
Travelling through time, travelling through
Wars, opening hidden mysterious doors,
Travelling to a long and distant land.
Saved from hell, saved from death,
Saved from a fatal, chilling breath,
Rescued by a powerful, wizened old hand.
A tear, a laugh,
An uncertain path,
With one desperate choice.
A trapped liccle boy, a monster’s
Toy, with no public voice.
A scared boy, a boy who is gay,
A boy who has something important to say,
A boy who has a deep but forbidden love.
A boy who wants friends, a boy that has hope,
A boy who needs an escape rope,
To fly finally free like the dove.
A Goblin boy, A Goblin Wizard,
Who could conjure up a blizzard,
His powers only work by kindness
To another.
His powers will falter, his powers will fail,
Like a piece of food gone stale,
If he does not show compassion said his Grandmother.
A tale about a strange girl,
Which would make you hurl,
With some strange creatures that lurk,
A figment of imagination, an illusion,
An intrusion, hidden in her mind’s
Darkness and murk.
Poems a song of love, a symphony of words,
A flock of flying, beautiful birds,
Created by a powerful mind.
A land to escape, a place to refresh,
To escape the encumbering mesh,
And to leave worries and problems behind.

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