HUNDREDS of pupils queued patiently on Friday for top children’s author Charlie Higson to sign their copy of the latest tale in his popular zombie horror series.
More than 450 pupils packed into the hall at St Nicholas RC High School in Northwich for the book signing and a talk and question and answer session by the writer, actor, comedian and one of the stars of The Fast Show.
The Fallen is the fifth in a series which began with The Enemy in 2009, and the audience for Charlie’s visit consisted of children from St Nicholas High, Weaverham High, the University of Chester Academy Northwich and Winsford Academy.
The author spoke to year seven, eight and nine pupils about his career and how he came to write the zombie series and the Young Bond novels, before signing copies of The Fallen.
He told the Guardian: “I hope my visit will help to get children excited about books and spread my love of reading.
“It is very nice to meet pupils and to see the kind of people who might read my books. If I can turn one child on to reading it has been a good day.”
An avid reader of Charlie’s books, St Nicholas pupil Anya Hesketh said she found the books ‘thrilling’, and had read the first four in the zombie series while on holiday last year.
Fellow St Nicholas pupil Zac Barco said: “The books are very exciting and action-packed, and you get enveloped with the story.”
Charlie’s visit was the last stop in a week-long tour of schools in the north of England, and was organised by the librarian at St Nicholas High, Kate Walker-Roberts.
“Charlie is probably the most popular author we have had in school, and I think the pupils like his books because they are so gory, packed with adventures and the children in the stories have to look after themselves,” she said.
Kate added that she had read The Enemy, and joked that she had not read any more in the series after the gore and severed limbs had left her ‘feeling a bit faint’.