Coconut Wireless on tour

Jerry reading Coconut Wireless.

This is a late posted blog by Nicola Baird about travel and homeschooling in Solomon Islands.

The first stars were just settling into a squid-ink dark sky when my friend Navie whispered across the fish and rice-laden table that her son Charlie had missed half a day of school to read Coconut Wireless. I met Charlie when he was a tiddly baby, and suddenly he’s the first Solomon Islander to read my book AND love it enough to ignore what he should be doing in a bid to get to the end. It was a fabulous feeling.

Lola, 13, was shocked. I’m always telling her to stop reading – you know, when she’s laying the table or eating, or talking to me or doing her homework – convinced I’m the only mother in the world who tries to limit their kids’ reading. “Missing school is really bad,” she told me, “what’s happened to you?” But in a country like Solomon Islands where reading material is limited, seeing a teenager settle down with a book is one of the most unlikely sites you’ll see.

Today (August) at Nguvia Community High School, about 30 minutes past Henderson airport, I gave a talk about Coconut Wireless to Form 3s after an invitation from their teacher Jamal Ed Namo. During the talk I hinted that a key part of the novel’s action happens on a bus just near their school.

The moment the session was finished Jamal’s colleague, Jerry Urahora, grabbed the copy of Coconut Wireless and started reading it (see the pic).

Book promo in Solomon Star and the Island Sun.

I can’t tell you how good this makes me feel. I made Coconut Wireless into an ebook so it was downloadable for free until 22 September 2011 from www.smashwords.com (use the code ZV47Q).

If you are reading this and are a Solomon Islander contact me for a free e-copy of the novel Coconut Wireless.

The next step is to turn my book into a play and let the students (or SEI group at Solomon Islands Development Trust) have a go transforming it into something that might make learning English much more fun because it’s all about them.

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