Auckland students, aged 5 to 12, write storybook to help kids at Starship

Press Release – Starship

Keven Mealamu reads an extract from The Miracle at Gull’s Bay

The creative writing of young Auckland students has been published into a new book that is destined to help the kids at Starship – New Zealand’s national children’s hospital – in more ways than one.

Launched today, The Miracle at Gulls’ Bay and Six More Super Stories will be sold to raise much needed funds for Starship Children’s Hospital. Written by children, for children, copies of the book will also be given to Barfoot & Thompson’s Magic of Reading programme* which already provides 15,000 books to young hospitalised patients each year.

The compilation of short stories has been published by real estate company Barfoot & Thompson to culminate their fifth annual Young Authors Challenge. The seven winning tales were chosen out of more than 340 entries authored by children aged five to 12 years from across primary and intermediate schools in Auckland and Northland.

Supreme winner The Miracle at Gulls’ Bay by 10-year-old Holly Fisher from Remuera Primary, which tells a story about recycling from the perspective of a seagull, features on the cover of the book. It is accompanied by six other tales, including one taken from a young girls’ real-life experience within Starship Children’s Hospital and the Northern Health School at Ronald McDonald House, My Lucky Day. The book also includes:
Rangi and Sephira by Bayfield Primary School’s Gifted and Talented Writers Group
An Un-named Friend by Emelie Fitness from Northcross Intermediate
Rumour Has It… by Grace Michie, Amanda Chong and Ocean Kaa from Pukekohe Intermediate
• “Don’t Eat the Bacon” by Room 19 from Somerville Intermediate
Slow Joe and Fast Freddy by Isabelle Cooper from Don Buck School

Peter Thompson, Managing Director of Barfoot & Thompson – which fully funds the Young Authors Challenge and Magic of Reading programmes – says it’s extraordinarily satisfying for the company to be involved, and for the children to see their own literary works come to life in a real book.

“These 31 pages represent hours of effort from the students and their teachers, and it’s all the more rewarding for them knowing how much it is going to help others.

“We know from the feedback we get from the schools, that the children get a real kick out having their literary efforts in the classroom helping raise funds to help Starship kids.

“Not only will every cent raised from the sale of each book go directly to the Starship Foundation, these stories are sure to help transport young patients’ minds away from their hospital beds and into imaginative worlds.”
Help the kids at Starship: Buy your copy of The Miracle at Gulls’ Bay and Six More Super Stories at for just $15.

In another exciting stroke for the young readers and writers, the book has been illustrated by rugby great and amateur artist Keven Mealamu. “Many of the finishing touches to the illustrations, for what is now his fifth book, were added during brief breaks from the field this season,” explains Mr Thompson.

The past five story books have helped Barfoot & Thompson raise a combined $120,000 for Starship Foundation.

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