Inspiring a love of the written word and stimulating children’s creativity is at the heart of Appledore Book Festival’s Schools Programme – now the largest outreach programme of any UK Book Festival.

The Schools Programme starts this week, and thirty of North Devon schools will receive an author during the week.

We were delighted to welcome author Bali Rai to Kingsley School this morning.

Mr. Rai’s novels capture the unique ethnic mix of the UK, of which he is proud to be a part. Bali Rai was born in 1971 and grew up in Leicester. His debut novel, (Un)arranged Marriage published in 2001 and has since been shortlisted for nine regional book prizes and firmly established Bali Rai as a leading voice in teenage fiction, his debut has been followed with a succession of acclaimed titles.

Reading from his latest novel ‘Colour of Humanity’, Bali Rai posed some questions to the students such as “What nationality is humanity? What gender is humanity? Does Race exist? Why do we have to belong?”

Bali Rai’s view is most certainly is that we are all an accident of birth and we should be teaching people to be simply proud of what is in our hearts and our heads, forgetting entirely the colour of our skin, the colour of our eyes, the land to which we were born. An unforgettable morning, thank you, Mr. Rai.

Thank you to the team whose voluntary hard work and dedication ensure pupils across North Devon have access and time with today’s leading authors.