We welcomed Cathy Brett, author and illustrator of Everything is Fine (and other lies I tell myself) and a class of year nine students from Elizabeth Garrett Anderson school to our archive.
The plot of Everything is Fine revolves around the First World War letters the protagonist Esther uncovers through peeling back the wall paper in her bedroom. Finding the letters sets Esther on a journey of discovery into the past. Our Author Event linked Cathy’s fictional story with the real First World War material in our collection.
In our archive the students saw original First World War letters, postcards and photographs. Through exploring this material they found out about the postmen and women who sorted, censored and delivered letters like those found by Esther in the book.
Following that, Cathy led a masterclass where she talked about how she became an author and illustrator. She introduced them to the character of Amelia, a First World War nurse and demonstrated her fantastic creative skills.
The students wrote letters that they imagined would be sent to Amelia through the Post Box Time Machine.
Here’s a little selection of what the students had to say about the Author event:
‘I liked seeing letters from over 100 years ago and learning about peoples experiences’ (Ladan)
‘Now I know what women did in the Post Office when the men went to war’ (Tashika)
‘I liked doing the letter to Amelia from the Time Machine’ (Tashika)
‘I enjoyed seeing actual pictures of the postal workers back then’ (Ahlaam)
‘I enjoyed writing letters to each other and that we can actually send them’ (Abida)
We’d like to say thank you to Pop Up Education for arranging this event. We had a great time hosting Cathy and the students.
-Sally Sculthorpe, Learning Officer