For all the great teachers out there

Posted: June 19, 2014 in Events, Intruder, Teachers Notes
Tags: , , , , ,

Teacher+Apple+CardThe most common question I’ve been asked since Intruder came out is what age group is it for?

I struggle with this question because I read a lot of YA fiction myself (despite being well outside the demographic). And I’ve always thrown my own bookshelves open to our kids, figuring that anything that was genuinely too old for them would defeat them or go over their heads.

 Choosing what to read is one of the incandescent pleasures of the book lover. And it is one that we deny children to their peril.

Restricting what children read is fraught, particularly in their final year of primary school when so many readers are at their most voracious, poised on the cusp of adolescence, and reaching for a greater understanding of the world that is opening up to them.

I vividly remember my own desire as a child to read books denied to me by virtue of my years. And the truth is that I read them anyway, often perplexed at what the fuss was about.

As an adult, I write layered texts that can be read and appreciated at different levels and ages. If pressed, I might recommend Intruder for anyone aged between 12 and 112, as I know that for different reasons, the story will resonate and appeal across that age range.

Intruder fits easily into the secondary English curriculum, but you can imagine my delight when the Oz Teacher Librarian Network reviewed Intruder for Years 6-8:

Intruder is a story that will be adored by those on the transition between childhood and adolescence. It has just enough suspense to keep turning the page, but not enough to terrify; its characters are diverse, realistic, memorable and recognizable and show that we all need a little bit of everyone to enrich our lives….this story would have great value as a small-group read, perhaps as a book club, where readers can discuss its layers, explore the what-ifs, and perhaps not only gain some insight into the tunnel-vision of the age group, but perhaps develop some safety strategies as well.’ Barbara Braxton, Teacher Librarian, Cooma [click here for full review].

It was a pleasure catching up with so many teachers and librarians at Random House’s Meet-the-Authors do at the Book Garden in Brisbane this week – thank you to all those who were able to come.

For those who’d love to know what they missed, please click here for teacher and children’s writer Rebecca Sheraton’s comprehensive and entertaining commentary on the event.

Also, Teachers Resources for Intruder are now available on the Random House Website.

Just click on the link below and it will transport you directly to a veritable corncucopia of useful classroom activities.

Click to access TR_Intruder.pdf


  1. Insightful little piece, like the lack of defensiveness around this issue too.
    Now to get a copy for my 8 year old 😉

  2. chrisbongers says:

    Cheeky, DS. 🙂
    Half the Yr 7s I talk to are reading Hunger Games and Divergent, so prepare yourself, it won’t be too long before your boy gets to them. Cx

  3. mo66 says:

    Agree completely. I outgrew Nancy Drew at 7 so I used to go to our library with my mum’s ticket and take out Agatha Christie books supposedly for her. Mum said I could as long as I brought her back a soppy Mills and Boon every time. Eventually she started to read Christie and 40 years on Mum is one of the biggest Crime / Thriller fiction buffs I know.

  4. chrisbongers says:

    Mo, I remember swearing I’d read every Agatha Christie too (until I discovered she’d written more than eighty!)
    Maybe the trick for parents is to have nothing in their shelves that they’d worry about their kids reading and just let them read what they want.

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