Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Deadly Samurai in Abingdon

On September 25th, we did a splendid event with hot new children's author Chris Bradford at Larkmead School. Chris is a samurai swordsman who has written a book based on research he did in Japan (and his own experiences) set in the 17th century. Young Samurai: Way of the Warrior is a cracking - if somewhat grisly - read (two particularly nasty deaths in the first 8 pages) which tells the story of young Jack Fletcher, a Westerner who trains in the way of the samurai. Chris fought off deadly Ninja assassins to get to Abingdon (they were disguised as First Great Western train officials, but Chris recognised them for the saboteurs they were) to beat train delays and give an enthralling demonstration and reading to Year 7. Chris commanded undivided attention, partly because of interest in the book, mostly because of his Samurai demonstrations with a real sword inches from the front row. Any author looking to spice up an upcoming reading of their book at a bookshop might take a leaf out of Chris' book:

Despite sparing no details in his descriptions of 'ham-sandwiching' opponents, Chris's message about the way of the samurai was one of discipline and respect. He answered questions about samurai, showed clips from real samurai training schools in Japan - and gave probably too much information about a Japanese energy drink called "Sweat". Chris signed copies for the pupils, then leapt off for a date with destiny (actually a demonstration at the School of Martial Arts in Oxford). It was a great event - the school was buzzing - you can read more here.

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