I am a children's book writer based in London. My first book for children is a short story entitled Rez. The eponymous main character is an 11-year-old child whose mother has recently died and who is being comforted by their remaining parent who is called Mam. Rez's gender is left deliberately unspecified by using 'they' rather than 'he' or 'she'. This was to get children to think about how we are expected to behave is influenced by our gender identity and to encourage them to question this and to consider that they don't have to accept these societal expectations.
My aim would be to work with KS2 (Year 6) children. I would lead a session which would involve reading the story and then having a discussion based upon its main themes. These are:
- how we might deal with grief when losing someone we love
- inclusivity in respect of having parents of the same gender
- challenging gender stereotypes and promoting the idea there should be no constraint on the limits of ambition based upon gender identity.
I would seek to lead this discussion with sensitivity, kindness and humour. Ultimately, I would be aiming to promote the idea that there is such a thing as society, of which the children are unique, valued and valuable members.
I would be willing to travel to anywhere in the UK or abroad. Charges would be based upon Society of Authors' recommendations.
I have had around thirty years experience working in education, as both a further education lecturer and teacher trainer. Before that I had experience working with primary school children when delivering sessions on development themes as a development education consultant.