For Classrooms & Libraries
Both Mystery at Riddle Gully and Spider Lies are woven around important themes – e.g. open-mindedness, compassion, the environment, friendship and family – within a pacy, humorous framework. They appeal to readers of a wide age range, making them excellent for the classroom and the school or public library. Both books are accompanied by teachers’ notes, those for Mystery at Riddle Gully being Australian curriculum-linked.
… Mystery at Riddle Gully is a really fun read and yet deftly explores some deeper themes around broken families, environmental sustainablility and first impressions. Also noteworthy are the fabulous teachers' notes available on the author's website.
writingWA in 'The West Australian'
The feedback from Jen Banyard's visit was extremely positive. … The teacher resources online were excellent teaching tools as well. We hope to buy a class set of Mystery at Riddle Gully to be used in our upper school literacy program. Can't wait for her next publication.
Corinne Johnson, Years 6 & 7 Teacher, Mt Tarcoola Primary School
My students thoroughly enjoyed Spider Lies. They quickly related to the well rounded child-characters and identified with their problems and triumphs. Throughout the book there are interesting scientific concepts that the students had fun developing, drawing from their existing knowledge and new research, and hypothesising on further possibilities.
Christine Power, Years 4 & 5 Teacher, Wembley Primary School
I have read Mystery at Riddle Gully because our teacher thought that it would be a great read and it was. I enjoyed it very much. It was full of mystery, action and comedy. I love it.
Callan, Year 6 Student
Talks & Workshops
Around writing, I love mixing with the youngies for which I write, and draw on experience in sports coaching, university tutoring, music and theatre to make sessions interactive and fun. We play games that bring home the concept that stories are at our fingertips. At a practical level, using unpolished, real-life examples from my own books, we look at how to get started, the concept of drafts (rather than trying to get things right first time), the importance of persistence, and pathways out of trouble when the going gets sticky. Ideally, children go away with some new tools in their kit and a clear sense that becoming a writer is achievable. Sessions are tailored to suit specific needs.
I conduct both 'Meet the Author' sessions (45 – 60 mins) and writing workshops (90 mins) – up to three per day – for predominantly middle- and upper primary-aged children. Visits are at Australian Society of Authors Rates.
Your presentations were great in that they engaged the students. They loved being involved in the games and I can’t believe how many students put their hand up whenever you asked a question! The whole class!
Yvette Thompson, Assistant Librarian, Shire of Kalamunda
Children very engrossed – good fun! Really worked at children's level. Highly recommend this. Great way to spend an hour! Good ideas to take back to school. Thanks!
Year 4 Teacher, International School
An excellent time had by students. Jen is an engaging author. The students really enjoyed her interactive activities.
Librarian, Year 8 session, John Willcock College
Jen was able to really engage the visual learners … [The children] will be keen to read and write back at school.
Rod Cohen, Year 5 Teacher, Floreat Primary
I think she was very kind. I loved the games. She really turned our imagination tank on. I really enjoyed it. I'll love to see her again.
Sophie, Year 5 Student
Jen, your books are amazing and yesterday I bought Mystery at Riddle Gully and Spider Lies and at the session I love the games that we played.
Thomas, Year 3 Student
Hey Guys, we just had Jen Banyard come in to RM 13! She was awesome All of us thought her presentation and books were both pretty cool.
Gaby, Gal and Anne, Year 6 Students
To discuss a visit to your school or library, email firstname.lastname@example.org.