Acclaimed author, Kevin Sands, supported by Mabel’s Fables bookstore, visited SAC this morning and enthralled the Middle School students with his account of life in 17th century London, codes and puzzles, and medicines and potions, all elements of his first novel, The Blackthorn Key.
The novel is the first in a series, also The Blackthorn Key, and is currently the chosen book for Middle School book club. The author, who is from Toronto and has degrees in theoretical physics, proved to be not just an entertaining speaker but also hugely knowledgeable and vastly adept at appealing to his young audience.
We found out that in the 1600s, chamber pots were emptied out windows onto the street – often onto unsuspecting passers-by; mercury was used as a medicine – with unfortunate results; children worked from as young as five years of age –some never saw their parents again. Grade 6 student, Eric Su, was shocked to find out that back then, one in three youngsters did not survive childhood.
Kevin later read from The Blackthorn Key, which grade 6 student, Oscar Liu really enjoyed: “I loved how he left us with a cliffhanger; it made me really want to find out more!”
Finally, after the author reading, the students stormed the stage, excited to buy books and have them signed. I’ve never seen such a rush or so many boys eager and enthusiastic to buy books. Who says boys aren’t reading these days? At St. Andrew’s College, they certainly are!