Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Faking UFO encounters to save a town

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Take Me To Your Leader is a new book by award-winning children’s author Leonie Agnew of Shelly Park.

Leonie Agnew is an award-winning children’s author, a former copywriter, and also a primary school teacher based in Shelly Park. Take Me To Your Leader is her latest book

Can Lucas pull off staging an alien encounter and save his tiny country school from closure?

Eleven-year-old Lucas has got a new worry to add to his long, long list – his rural school is on the Ministry of Education’s list for closure.

What’s his mum going to do if he and his sister have to start travelling to a school an hour or two away?

She can’t drive them; she certainly can’t afford boarding school fees and already works long hours in a poultry processing plant to keep the family going.

If the school closure goes through, they might have to move to the city. And there’s no way Lucas will ever leave his dad’s grave behind.

He and his friends come up with a mad idea to revive their town and save their school – they stage an alien encounter.

Before they know it, tourists are flocking in to check out the crop circles and it looks like the plan might work.

But there’s also the vehicle with tinted windows that seems to be following them around – why would it be interested in a group of country schoolkids?

Before Lucas knows it, he’s lost control of his plot, and a chain of unpredictable (and often hilarious) events that follow are quickly turning to chaos!

Agnew told the Times she got the idea many years ago, after watching a news item on TV about rural schools protesting their closure.

“That got me thinking about the ways kids might try and keep their school open. Children can be so resourceful,” said Agnew.

“I knew the obvious answer was to create businesses that would attract employment, but that felt a little dry.

“However, I’d also had the idea of children flying a kite which gets mistaken for a UFO.

“The idea of children faking UFO and alien sightings led to a much funnier story but one which, I hope, also speaks about friendship and the importance of supporting communities.”

  • WIN
    We have two copies of Take Me To Your Leader to give away to two lucky readers. Just enter at Win! – Times

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