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Best-selling Author Jacqueline Harvey’s Virtual Visit to BISS

May, 2016
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Four months ago, best-selling author Jacqueline Harvey travelled to Beijing to conduct research for her next book, Alice-Miranda in China. She made a special visit to Beijing BISS International School, where the children shared their experiences of life in China, and suggested possible plotlines for her next story.

As part of the Book Week celebrations at BISS, Jacqueline Harvey checked in via Skype to share her progress. She showed the students her half-finished manuscript (already over 100 pages!), explained her grueling schedule (7am – 6pm on writing days), and even read funny excerpts from the story. BISS children were among the first people in the world to access this sneak preview!

The children asked great questions about the developing plotline, such as “Why does the villain do bad things?” “How does Alice-Miranda solve the robbery?” “Will the characters try to speak Chinese?” “Did you use our ideas?” Jacqueline Harvey explained that she had indeed been inspired from BISS to create the imaginary school in her new story.

When Matthew in Grade 1, asked whether The Great Wall of China would be featured, Jacqueline Harvey said, “I’m not sure yet. The story’s not finished!” Matthew and Nina, who is in Grade 2, wasted no time in offering funny suggestions for Great Wall adventures.

It has been a rich experience for BISS students to communicate with a working author during the creation of a book. From the first research trip to her editor’s looming deadlines, Jacqueline Harvey has shared her authentic life as an author. The children have gained deep insight into how writers draw inspiration from life, persevere with their work and edit tirelessly for improvement.  


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