All About Karen Langtree
Karen Langtree was born in Newcastle in 1969, but now lives near York with her two children and her husband.
Karen was a primary school teacher for a long time but is now writing books and musicals full time. She has been writing musicals for about 15 years and got into writing books about 8 years ago. Karen Langtree became an author through sheer hard work and determination and is grateful to all those who have inspired her, given her confidence and reviewed books for her.
Karen loves doing schools workshops. Her tag line is ‘Inspiring Creativity’ because this is what drives her and gives her great pleasure.
“One day I’d like to live in Northumberland in my favourite place – Bamburgh – by the sea …. with my imaginary dog! “
Karen’s School Visits
Whole School Assembly/Presentation:
These can last from 15 mins to 45.
She will teach the children a song written about not giving up on dreams and ambitions.
She then talks about her journey as an author and how that relates to what journey they might take in their lives.
Nursery and Reception:
Storytelling workshops, involving visual characters and audience participation.
Key Stage One:
Storytelling workshops, involving visual characters and audience participation.
Creating settings – presentation, map drawing and group work using our senses to think what might be encountered in a new world.
Key Stage Two:
Creating characters – presentation, drama which involved putting yourself in someone else’s shoes, group work to create characters.
Creating setting – presentation, map drawing and group work using our senses to think what might be encountered in a new world.
Making a musical – based on a given story line we explore characters through drama and group work. We write songs for the characters to use during the story. Begin writing a script from children’s ideas.
Rap, rhythm and rhyme – exploring body rhythms in a totally interactive workshop, putting a rap to the rhythm and inventing their own.
Key Stage 3
Author talk and question time with readings.
Developing characters – workshop activities and writing exercises.
Making a musical – based on a given story line we explore characters through drama and group work. We write songs for the characters to use during the story. Begin writing a script from children’s ideas. This a 1 to 2 day workshop with the same class.
A Typical Visit
Assembly 9a.m. – 9.30a.m
Sessions with individual classes or year groups 9.30a.m – 3p.m
Book signing 3p.m onwards
Group Size – Karen will work with groups ranging from 12 to large assembly style talks to groups of over 200. Most workshops work best with a normal class size – between 20 and 35
Aims for the day vary according to the type of workshop, but general aims are:
To inspire creativity – this is her key aim
To give children confidence and desire to ‘have a go.’
To encourage children to enjoy reading.
(These are some of the things she will need, depending on what type of workshop she is doing. Karen doesn’t always need them all.)
A large space
A projector/interactive whiteboard/computer
A flipchart or white board to write on
Her latest book, Angel Small, is a picture book for 3 -6 year olds, which presents the Christmas story from the point of view of a little angel who wants to find out about King Jesus, but is told he is ‘too small!’ He tags along anyway and a special adventure follows.
To find out more about this book go to http://www.angelsmall.co.uk
My Wicked Stepmother:
A tale of family break up, love pain and the power of forgiveness.
‘You think this book is just another silly fairy tale, don’t you? But this is no fairy tale, this is my life.’
Lou and her sister Nat wake up one morning to the shock that their Dad is leaving them to live with another woman. But who is she? What will she be like? Lou’s friend, Zoe, keeps going on about wicked stepmothers.
Lou’s Mum is convinced the woman is no good. But Eve, Dad’s new partner, seems pleasant enough. When things take a turn for the worse Lou has to discover the truth about Eve, as well as a revealing truth about someone else in her family.
A poignant tale of family break up, love and pain, but ultimately the power of kindness and forgiveness.
Age range 8-12 year-olds
Who believes in fairies?
Certainly not Ellie – tomboy, karate kid and best under eleven goalie in town!
However, when Ellie’s brother finds a half dead fairy in their garden, Ellie has to believe. She teams up with fairy expert – Lucy, and together they begin an adventure to help the fairy, who has lost her memory and her powers. They find themselves caught up in a dangerous quest to rescue the Queen and Prince and save the kingdom of Elysia.
A powerful friendship grows between Ellie, Lucy and the fairy. But is it strong enough to overcome the evil forces that threaten the fairy kingdom?
Age range 5 – 10 year-olds
Fairy Rescuers: Return to Elysia
Fairy rescuers, Ellie and Lucy are beginning to wonder if their adventures in the Fairy World were nothing but a dream. Life has returned to normal. But one morning, Ellie wakes up to find a tiny message attached to a piece of stone, digging into her cheek, under her pillow. It’s a message from Queen Hermia of Elysia.
“Dear Ellie and Lucy, I beg you to come… Gabriella is in grave danger.”
Once again, Ellie and Lucy take up the challenge and are transported back to the Fairy World. But how does Nikki Walters, the school bully, come to be there too? And why is she helping the enemy?
With the help of some new friends, can Ellie and Lucy again prove that courage and teamwork can conquer evil and change things for good? Age range 5 – 10 year-olds.
“A fun modern fairytale, with a feisty heroine that children will be able to identify with.” – Stephen Lewis. York Press
The Rainboat: A Musical for Key Stage 2
Published by Kevin Mayhew Ltd
A fresh look at the story of Noah, specially written for 7-11 year olds. With just two small solo parts, songs for the chorus which are fun to sing and a narration which can easily be shared by several children, this is a musical well within the range of school classes. The accompanying CD has a performance track of every song and includes a backing track for each in case you don’t have a pianist for your performance!
Go Grace Darling: A Musical for Key Stage 2 or 3
An exciting musical about the Victorian heroine Grace Darling. Hers is a story of immense courage and unwanted fame. There are nail biting moments when Grace rows out to rescue the survivors of a shipwreck. And funny moments when Grace has to fend off unwanted suitors! This story is part of the KS2 History curriculum on Victorians.
School for Angels: A Musical for Key Stage 2
This is a great twist on the retelling of the nativity story. Three little angels are trying to earn their wings at angel school. They must pay attention and remember the Nativity story. They are cheeky and keep getting into trouble whilst still managing to find out what happened that first Christmas. This is definitely a production for KS2 as there are lots of parts to learn. Great songs with solo parts accompany this production.
Reviews and Recommendations
‘Wonderfully fun way of teaching rhyme and rhythm. Full participation – all children (and adults) engaged and involved in activities – super pace – multi sensory approach – perfect!’ – Year 4 teacher, North Frodingham Primary, East Yorks
‘Children loved hearing about your inspiration for stories and were fully engaged during the practical session. Some great ideas have been generated this morning.’ – Teacher, The Minster School, York
‘We all really enjoyed the day very much and the children enjoyed meeting a ‘real life author’ and in particular the singing aspect with the older ones.’ – Gail Brown, Head teacher, Crayke Primary, N Yorks
“The visit provided children with both motivation and ideas for writing. Thanks for a brilliant day.’ – Teacher, Pattishall School, Northants
“The children were inspired by your visit – I think it added another dimension and made the writing process very real for our children.” – Liz Hopper, Oakdene Primary School, Stockton on Tees
” The children got a lot from their morning with you. Once again it was a huge success. I am delighted.” – Claire Williams, Lumley Junior School, Durham
“Thank you for your very professional input to our day. A great end to book week! The children were very positive in their comments.” – Andrew Spencer, Deputy Head, Portobello Primary School, Durham
“Thank you for coming to our school and talking to our class. You have really inspired me to start writing books.” – Year 8 Pupil, Rydale Secondary School, N Yorks
My Wicked Stepmother:
‘Karen knows how children think and talk, and in Louise, her 14-year-old heroine, she has created an authentic teenage girl: obsessed with hair, boys and her diary, occasionally stroppy, and desperately insecure.’ – Stephen Lewis, York Press
‘An enchanting tale which opens up the fantasy genre to a group of children who may not have felt inclined to read a book about fairies, but find themselves following a very believable heroine into a most unusual adventure.’ – Andrew Spencer, Deputy head teacher
‘My Wicked Stepmother is awesome, I couldn’t put it down. I can’t wait to see what else you will write!!’ – Annie,
‘I read Fairy Rescuers with my mum and then we got this one. I love it when Lucy and Ellie have to rescue Gabriella but Nikki gets into Elysia too and joins Grizzle. I like Lucan and I hope he gets married to Gabriella one day.’ – Lucy
‘This book [My Wicked Stepmother] is awesome I read it in one hour because I couldn’t put the book down. You are really talented Karen. Lou was a total surprise I thought she was going to be a weak character but she really fought for what was right. I loved every word of it and you really inspired me! Thank you.’ – Charlotte
‘Every time I read it I get caught into it. [Fairy Rescuers] It’s a amazing book. Can u write some more books like this? Also it’s the best book I ever read.’ – Kayleigh
To Make a Booking
To make an enquiry about Karen Langtree, 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
Further information on Karen Langtree is available from her website:http://www.karenlangtree.com