‘A book isn’t complete until it has been read’, a wise person once said. I’m going to add to that. A packet of noodles hasn’t been enjoyed until it’s been eaten.
Over the last couple of weeks at WA’s Shenton College, Year 11 English classes have been reading 90 packets of instant noodles. I only know this because one of the teachers emailed me—and I can honestly say that hearing such a thing makes a writer’s heart leap. Like a fish.
Ms Beattie emailed me to say the feedback from students about 90 packets had been great, with some taking it home, some even reading it more than once, and other such feats of literary awesomeness when, let’s face it, there are a few other things vying for most 16-year-olds’ attention.
But I definitely wasn’t expecting Ms Beattie’s next email, in which she attached photos of students eating noodles in class, a result of her bringing 90 packets—90 actual packets—of noodles in for them to chow down on in class as they read. Ms Beattie wrote, ‘We had a feast as we read. We’ve even started a “Noodle Wall”. They played with them like Lego, counted them, asked to take some home and were generally rather more excited than they usually let on.’
Never in a million years, when I wrote the book in my own shack experience in the cloudforest of Costa Rica, did I imagine such a glorious scene!
Thank you Ms Beattie, and Shenton College Year 11s. Joel and Craggs are seriously glad to have been in your midst.