"I loved it!" Here's what four children thought of their virtual author visit with Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock
Published on: 24 May 2023
One week after our BookTrust Represents Author Event with Dr. Maggie Aderin-Pocock, teacher Danielle Wooley asked four Year 6 children - Seemab, Maleik, Travis and Lois - for their views on their experience.
Did anyone have any preconceptions about what the author talk would contain?
Seemab: I knew it was about science, so I was interested in what we might learn.
Lois: Honestly, I thought I would be bored because I don’t enjoy my science lessons as much as lessons like Art and History.
Teacher: Were you bored?
Lois: No, which surprised me. I didn’t know I could be interested in space science. Dr Maggie explained things in a really easy way to understand, and told us to follow our crazy dream - whatever it may be, which was inspiring to me.
Maleik: When I knew we were going to have an author talk about space, I expected an old man.
Teacher: So you were surprised?
Maleik: Yes, I was. I found it interesting that every culture has been interested in astronomy from ancient times to now, and as a young black person, this really inspired me. Astronomy is for me, too.
Travis: I didn’t know what to expect, but I really enjoyed the talk.
Teacher: What did you enjoy most about the talk?
Travis: I learned loads of interesting facts - like you can sing in space if you have a space suit on, but if you’re in a vacuum you can’t because there would be no air in our lungs.
Lois: Dr. Maggie used props to help us understand the science. She blew up a balloon to explain the big bang, which helped me to understand.
Maleik: When she sang with helium it was funny!
Seemab: Dr Maggie explained about so many different topics which was fun, my favourite was the part about the Mariana Trench - I didn’t know we had places on earth the sun can’t get to. There was so much to take in that I found the video on YouTube afterwards and watched it again at home.
Teacher: Did you enjoy watching it again?
Seemab: Yes as I found there was so much information in the talk that I couldn’t remember everything I wanted to the first time!
Maleik: Dr Maggie was really inclusive of everyone and spoke about women and people of colour making the journey into space which was exciting for me.
"I found it interesting that every culture has been interested in astronomy from ancient times to now, and as a young black person, this really inspired me. Astronomy is for me, too."
Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock held an author visit as part of BookTrust Represents.
What do you like about your free copy of Am I Made of Stardust? from BookTrust?
Lois: The book is so colourful and the information is in little bits which makes it easy to read, leave and come back to.
Seemab: I like the pictures, too. And the glossary in the back is handy because there are lots of words I don’t know.
Teacher: Do know any new words now?
Seemab: An exo-planet is a planet that’s going around a star that’s not in our solar system.
Maleik: I’ve read up to Chapter 2 and I love the part about black holes.
Teacher: Can you tell me anything about black holes?
Maleik: If you went into one you would get stretched out like spaghetti as you go through the hole.
Seemab: And time slows down, too.
Travis: I like the photographs of the astronauts and the rockets- they look so cool!
Seemab: It was so nice that they were free as well. Things are more expensive now, so getting a book for free was a real treat for me.
Travis: Me too, I think there should be more companies that do free books for children.
"The glossary in the back is handy because there are lots of words I don’t know."
Illustration from Dr Maggie's Am I Made of Stardust?
Would you recommend the experience for other children?
Travis: Yes. It was really cool to see an actual author and to be able to ask her questions.
Maleik: Every child should have the opportunity to speak to a professional author because it makes you realise that something you didn’t think you could be that interested in, can actually be really interesting for you.
Teacher: So, was it Dr. Maggie’s passion for astronomy that made you interested?
Maleik: Yeah, you could tell she was really excited to talk to us, which made me excited to listen.
Seemab: I would recommend a BookTrust author talk to all children.
Seemab: Because being able to talk to an author - live - and being able to ask her questions is something that I never thought I’d get to do, and I loved it.
Lois: I would recommend it as I was really interested listening to Dr Maggie, and science is one of the lessons I struggle with, so if I enjoyed it, I’m sure all the other children that struggle in science will enjoy it too.
"Being able to talk to an author - live - and being able to ask her questions is something that I never thought I’d get to do, and I loved it."
Has this experience changed how you think about your future careers?
Lois: Because Dr Maggie was so good at teaching us about space really clearly, I feel more confident in my tricky lessons. I wasn’t expecting to understand a lot but when I realised I did understand, it made me realise that I can “get” difficult topics. I don’t think I’ll choose a career in science, but Dr Maggie said that we need to follow our crazy dream- whatever it may be.
Seemab: I am really interested in becoming an astronaut now, and I would love to see the Earth from space.
Travis: Me too!
Maleik: Dr Maggie’s talk has reminded me that I can do anything I want to, if I have a dream and work hard. I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up yet, but a scientist is definitely an option!
If you missed out on Dr Maggie's amazing visit, don't worry - all the previous virtual author visits are in this handy online library!
And don't forget to register your school for a virtual BookTrust Represents author visit with Candy Gourlay. Get involved here.