Bestselling author, Alex Wheatle visits Cheney

On Wednesday 17th January, 180 year 9 and 10 students were treated to a presentation by the author Alex Wheatle. 

Alex is the author of 18 books of which nine are aimed at young people. He was awarded the MBE in 2008 for services to literature and his story was featured in one of the Small Axe films, which aired in 2020. He also shared the exciting news that his Crongton series of books is soon to start filming for a BBC series. 

Alex’s books are firmly grounded in his own life experiences of growing up in care in the council estates of South London, as well as having a complex family history and a part in the Brixton Riots of the early 1980s. He told the students that each one of his books features characters from his life in some form and that reading was the catalyst for change in his life. His honesty and passion was contagious and the students really engaged and Alex also treated the audience to a Jamaican rap! 

Author Alex Wheatle with Year 10 students in Cheney library

At Cheney, Alex’s books are part of the culture; four of his books have featured on the Cheney Choice selection over the years and all of his Crongton books are standard library stock items that are borrowed again and again. There was a long queue of students in the library after the event, wanting to meet him and to ask further questions. 

Thank you very much to all the Cheney staff who helped me organise the event and to the students who were a credit to themselves. 

I myself was a little bit star struck in finally meeting Alex - I have championed his work at Cheney for many years and for me it was a privilege for me to meet him. 

Mrs Fenton

Cheney School Librarian