All About Andrew Clover
A Perrier-nominated comic, Andrew Clover writes Rory Branagan Detective. Last year Harper Collins outbid Penguin for a seven book series. This year, the books have been sold round the world (including China and the US) and are nominated for a Booktrust award as Best Book For Reluctant Readers, and Teach First Awards – Year’s Funniest Book. He’s best known to grown ups for his funny Dad Rules column in the Sunday Times Style magazine, and to children for playing the leading role in My Almost Famous Family on CBBC. He’s known to many schools as the most enjoyable, and galvanising visitor they’ve had.
Andrew’s School Visits
Andrew offers THE SEVEN SECRETS OF STORYTELLING – a funny-but-educational lecture…
His strategy is to make them laugh to rouse goodwill and energy, he then teaches everything he can about characters / verbs / nouns / adjectives / locations / drama / plots and how to get ideas, then he leads children on a visualisation, which will teach them the Twelve Steps of the Classic Story. This gives children their own material, which they love to share – ‘I saw a spider, who had YOUR FACE!’ It all generates much laughter, and sense of freedom. Clover teaches LOADS about mentors, or adverbs, but the greatest benefit is that pupils leave feeling that literacy is FUN.
Clover is versatile, but his favourite formula is to…
perform The Seven Secrets to the whole school. (There’s a special magic to having the whole school laugh together).
After then pupils leave with a full story in their head, and often schools will get the children to write it all down. (Give them twenty minutes of silence: they’ll write loads).
Clover needs fifteen minutes to cool off after the show, but then he’s always available for workshops or classroom visits. Typically he’ll teach simile / metaphor / poetic language to KS2, and adverbs / adjectives / nouns to KS1. (He’s on a mission to make Grammar fun).
If children have done their own writing, Clover often finishes the day with a shorter assembly when he reads out excerpts of their work, which makes the children feel GREAT.
Colin Hitchin is 14. He’s only five foot, and his IQ is off the scale. People already think he’s a freak. And now he’s seeing ghosts. And he’s hearing pigeons talking. And he sees his best friend attacked by fiends. And the only person who believes is his mad Uncle Jimmy…
“A cross between Catcher In The Rye and Northern Lights”, The Sunday Times.
“Inspired… My only problem is I didn’t write it myself,” GP Taylor
Book of the Year. “An inspiring tale of teenage redemption” *****, The Book Bag.
Andrew has written several cartoons for children, including the BAFTA nominated Heavy Pockets. He has written a teen novel called Dirty Angels about a psychic boy who sees angels flying over the city (“An uplifting study of teenage redemption” 5 stars, the Book Bag). Recently he’s been writing a detective story for primary schoolchildren and he’s been performing in schools, theatres and festivals. “Clover is hugely likeable with an infectious enthusiasm for conceiving and delivering stories’ (The List)”
Andrew recently played the lead regular role of Gary in My Almost Famous Family (CBBC). Andrew also recently appeared in a guest role in Off The Hook for BBC 3 and BBC Switch and also shot the new comedy pilot THE 370
Rory Branagan Detective
It all came from a school visit. Andrew was teaching Secret 3 (make things as hard as possible for your hero) when behind him, a dinner lady peered out from the kitchen, and the children laughed. ‘It looks as if she doesn’t like me,’ he quipped, and they laughed more. The whole school improvised a fantasy of the dinner lady chasing Andrew through the school (they were shouting out adverbs – ‘angrily’ ‘speedily’) and they went to the scariest location in the school (adjectives, nouns) where there was one heck of a climax (which involved some verbs – eg ‘squelched’ – and some more that can’t be repeated). The children loved it. So did the dinner lady, who came out, at the end, and got a riotous round of applause.
This became the pilot story: Rory Branagan and the Deadly Dinner Lady.
This was then illustrated by Ralph Lazar, the US-based illustrator. The concept was developed with Paul McKenzie, the TV producer who’s developed so many TV hits – Hetty Feather, Sadie J, Dani’s Castle, The Lodge – who developed this pitch…
Rory has a brilliant life, except for one thing: no one tells him anything. And he most wants to know the thing that people most want to cover up: why did his dad disappear when he was three? But then one day a most exciting, clever, charismatic girl moves in next door. She suggests Rory should become a detective, and he must find out…
‘Very funny and surprisingly touching,’ LoveReading4Kids
‘A totally addictive page-turning storyline… Incredibly clever,’ The Bookbag
‘If your kids like books like Diary of a Wimpy Kid, they’ll love these,’ Adam Baron, writer of Boy Underwater, professor of writing at Kingston University.
Rory Branagan has just been sold all round the world, and is being filmed by Passion Pictures
Young boys love the books, because every page is illustrated, so they’re not childish, but they’re an easy read. Girls love them, because, secretly, the girl is running everything. And teachers love them because they’re deceptively clever – in Book One, all imagery connects to the sea – and there’s a surprising amount of Grammar. Book 4 even sneaks in a rap about Grammar: ‘CATS means LOTS OF CATS; CAT’S means BELONGING TO THE CAT…’
Clover has always been one of our most popular acts. He’s now vowed to be the cheapest, so maximise bookings. So his dates are going fast. Book him quick!
Reviews and Recommendations
“The kids loved all Andrew’s impressions and his comedy. But what set him apart was his heart. So giving!” Mr Pugh, Wandsworth School
“Just to say a huge thank you for today. I know my class were really inspired and had a fantastic time.” Hazel Meckler, Barton Primary School, Isle of Wight.
“I am writing to thank you for a fabulous ‘able writers’ day last week. The children came back full of brilliant ideas and absolutely loved their day with you. Their feedback has been a real inspiration for the rest of the class! My head teacher, Mark Snow, has asked me to contact you directly regarding a conversation he had with you about visiting our school for the day…” Cowes Primary School
“Right from our key leaders up to every student present in your presentation, all of them are going gaga about your unique way of getting the audience actively involved in what you had to convey to them. So, a mighty thank you for your visit.” Pranjala, Head of Apple International School, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates.
“What an absolute delight it was to meet you on Monday! Your flamboyant energy was an inspiration and you were a marvellous tonic for all those who attended the session. We were so proud of the brilliant writing produced by the children-and indeed, by the writing we ourselves managed to do. I am currently in the process of gathering up all the pieces produced by each school and hope to bind them into a document as a record of a truly successful day.” Jacinta Read, St Mary’s CE Primary School, Gillingham
“I’d like to take all the stars other acts have thrown away, and give them to Andrew Clover for his talent and generosity, his intelligence and humour…” 5 stars Scotsman
“Andrew was a great success – inspirational and full of energy and passion. His heart is in the right place and he has a lot to give the children. He enthused the children, made them laugh, and my class loved his writing workshop. His acting is fantastic – a real strength in his performance. His faces, voices and impersonations were superb. But best of all, Andrew is a lovely guy -open, friendly and great! We’d definitely have him back!” Ed Pugh, All Farthing Primary School, Wandsworth
“This morning my literacy lesson was led by Rebecca and Emma who were mimicking you from attending your storytelling session yesterday. The rest of the class enjoyed every moment and what an impact you had for them to have remembered so much. Thank you for a fantastic afternoon. I spoke to the Head this morning about how fantastic you were and that we should get you back. How lucky your loved ones are to share their lives with such an amazing person. Oh and your comment in the book was very touching. As teachers we are regularly criticised and rarely praised.” Palvi Raval, Oxford Community School
“Thank you so much for providing such marvellous entertainment. The kids thought that you were wonderful.” Jenny and Sandy at Ashford School Library
To Make a Booking
To make an enquiry about Andrew Clover, or any of the other authors, poets & illustrators listed on this website, please phone Trevor Wilson on +44 (0) 1535 656015, or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org