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Special Guest


   

This month we would like to welcom Mary-Anne Fahey as our special guest.  Mary-Anne has kindly arranged for Nigel Dorking to write a letter of introduction, and he has helpfully witten his own teachers' notes to go with the book.


Dear Teachers and Librarians,

Allow me to introduce myself.

Hello, my name is Nigel, Nigel Dorking.  Per chance you have heard of me?  I do not want to brag, but I am the boy who has written his own autobiography.  Ah-ha I hear you deduce, isn't he that most unusual boy, the youngest author Penguin books has ever published, the one with the incredibly high IQ, in the 97th percentile on the WISK scale, who originally recorded his heroic life story as an authentic medieval audio blog at the tender age of 12?

Ah yes dear reader, I say to you in all modesty, you are right.  'Tis indeed I the author of I, Nigel Dorking.  At your service.

(There is someone else, a Kylie Mole in fact, who claims she was published when she was only 11 but do not be fooled dear reader, as she is a prevaricator, (liar).)

And even though I am very busy I have decided to do a most unusual thing.  I have decided to put out my own teachers' notes for teachers.

I certainly hope teachers and librarians across Australia will be interested in my suggestions and in my insightful insights and astuteness.

For I am very concerned about literacy in schools, particularly amongst teachers.

There are teachers at my school who correct me quite a lot, and they should know better.  Not that I am up myself!  That is one thing I am not.  Not given how up myself I could be given my talents!

There are not many kids who know so much about medieval knights and beetle classification systems as do I.  Though of course I always try very hard to be very understanding of those less fortunate than I, (which is most people, particularly including Jeremy Fry who thinks he is as smart as me but isn't).

I do not look down on them but rather hope they could just listen to me, and learn, for if they did this, they could live better and less ill informed lives.  That is why I am preparing these teachers' notes.  For librarians too.

TEACHERS' NOTES

This book is very well written and should be considered great literature with grand themes and extraordinary insite.

SOME OTHER SUGGESTIONS FOR THE CLASSROOM

  1. Have a robust classroom discussion about how good the book is.
  2. Get kids to list all the characters and then to work out who the true hero is.  (Hint - it may be the author.)  List the various ways in which Nigel is heroic.  Discuss ways in which other people in his life to do not measure up.
  3. See if any kids can come up with any better or more interesting facts about medieval knights than I have. I bet they can't.  And if they do, google it.  I bet they are cheating.
  4. And if they think they are really smart, see how many of them speak three languages like I do.  (Yes three, including Elvish, from the middle earth, and pig-latin and English, (obivously).)
  5. Get the class to read other classics, perhaps Dickens, Dostoyevski, Kofka, Morris Gleitzman, or Patrick White.  (Hint - given you are only primary school teachers and librarians you may not have heard of him, he was a great Australian author particularly interested in trees.)  And then compare them and their themes unfavourably with my novel.
  6. Discuss this point.  Like Patrick White, at school I have been teased mercilessly and that is mainly by the staff.  Get kids to discuss bullying of possible virtual child prodigys due to the extreme jealousy of their peers, and teachers.
  7. Discuss Enuresis.  See if any kids know what it means.  I knew when I was three.
  8. Get kids to do a project on this debilitating medical problem, for instance to work out which of their teachers don't come on camp, and then analyze why this might be!
  9. Make the kids study my glossary of words at the back as I believe spelling tests are far too easy these days, and find out  how far below the national average your class is.  (I bet you will find very few who can spell antidisestablishemeantarianism!)
  10. Check your students' vocabulary.  I bet very few use the work virtual.  I use it virtually all the time.
  11. Get the kids to read my novel.  Discuss how great literature stands the test of time.  (Note - this is a long term project) Then get them to read it a few years later, and see how they love it still, and then perhaps again when they are old, and see how it has changed their lives.  Also discuss the nature of time.  Did it exist before the big bang?  (The big bang theory, Not Bruno's which is disgusting.)
  12. Discuss the issues in my book.  Also discuss, for instance, why Babette my step-mother, is such a vile, ugly witch, and find inventive ways of torturing her slowly to death.  Also discuss forgiveness, another major theme in my novel.
  13. Look at how the novel is written.  And how novel my approach is!  For this is an autobiography written in the third person.  (For teachers who don't understand what this is, you had better find out as you will be very much left behind with my next novel which I intend to publish in the fourth person.)
  14. If kids dress up as characters from my book for book week and if anyone chooses Mum, make sure they get the right tattoos.  (Also note Mum's legs are very short but she has elegant thumbs.)  Only very ugly people should try to dress up as Babette.
  15. When kids read my book, don't let them get it out of the library for they will learn the value of books if they save up and actually buy it with their own money.  Also these extra royalties will help me save up more money so I can expand my war hammer army and beat Jeremy Fry once and for all.
  16. Note: An antagonist is not necessarily an ant in agony.  Though it can be.  For instance in the Ant Story, by Patrick White.
  17. Discuss friendship, and how it is so hard to find amongst the rabble.  Also discuss self acceptance and how it can even be hard for one such as I!
  18. Discuss how mean kids can be about a sibling if they, for instance, have Cerebral Palsy and intellectual disability like Ivan does.  And how it is not acceptable - ever - to have a go at someone based on their lack of intelligence.  Question.  What is normal?  (Definitely not Bruno, or Reece.  Or Hope who are total ignoramuses!)  (To save you having to look that up, it means unknowledgeable fools who wouldn't know how to look up ignoramus in a dictionary.)
  19. Does Nigel succeed in his quest to bond with his Father?  What is Fatherhood?  Is it just a concept?  Is a concept just a concept?
  20. Discuss discussions and how useful they are in the classroom.
  21. Write this author lots of letters of appreciation, but mainly vote for him in the KOALA Awards.  (Particularly if there is a money prize.)
  22. For the scientifically minded - apply Einstein's theory of relativity to this novel. For instance, if a boy from Australia, who was about to recieve a Booker Prize that is worth quite a bit of money, were on a train traveling toward London a the speed of light, and his relatives were at Spencer Street station waving him off, would they see him again?
  23. Discuss this joke.  How many light-globes does it take to change a kids' life?  Just one if he or she is reading I, Nigel Dorking.  (Actually, I wrote that joke myself.)
  24. Notice the structure of the story and how good it is.
  25. Write 100 reasons why this is the best book you have ever read.

Librarians should put this book on the book shelves in the adult literature section as well as the kids, as adults could learn a great deal from this.

I hope you find these notes are alluminating, informative and my perceptions perceptive.

Yours Unequivocal servant, and chronicler of his Times,

Nigel Dorking.  Author.  Grade 6.


Thank you Nigel, and Mary-Anne of course.  I'm sure the teachers and librarians will find these notes very helpful!

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Dorling Kindersley

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