written by the author, Abi Elphinstone, a former English teacher


I regularly visit schools throughout the UK (and abroad) and can deliver talks about my books and the writing process to children in Years 4, 5 and 6. If you are interested in booking me for an event and hearing more details, click HERE.








CONTENTS include...


• Pre-reading: Research project on Romany gypsies

• Pre-reading: Discussing the book cover

• Pre-reading: Creating your own literary map

• Prologue: Language analysis task

• Chapter 1: Character development chart

• Chapter 2: Creating a leaflet on the healing properties of plants; keeping a dream


• Chapter 3: Continuing the story; writing dialogue

• Chapter 4: Exploring original imagery

• Chapter 5: Drawing settings; writing a diary entry

• Chapter 6: Matching characters with descriptions

• Chapter 7: Comprehension questions

• Chapter 8: Letter writing

• Chapter 9: Exploring themes

• Chapter 10: Continuing the story; language analysis task

• Chapter 11: Writing film director notes

• Chapter 12: Naming characters; creating your own character

• Chapter 13: Inventing insults

• Chapter 14: Comprehension questions

• Chapter 15: Writing a recipe for a spell

• Chapter 16: Stories inspired by photos; looking at poetry that inspired the book

• Chapter 17: Inventing your own villain

• Chapter 18: Creating a poster on Scottish wildcats

• Chapter 19: Looking at animal-child bonds in literature

• Chapter 20: Designing your own Shadowmask

• Chapter 21: De-coding anagrams

• Chapter 22: Fact file on Arthur Conan Doyle or Joan Aitken

• Chapter 23: Exploring settings

• Chapter 24: Exploring characters

• Chapter 25: Soul travelling story

• Chapter 26: Reading and writing ballads

• Chapter 27: Writing action scenes

• Chapter 28: Making character predictions

• Chapter 29: Researching Romany spells

• Chapter 30: Investigating magical trees in literature

• Chapter 31: Stories inspired by objects at home

• Chapter 32: Designing your own amulet

• Chapter 33: Comprehension questions

• Chapter 34: Describing a scary animal

• Chapter 35 and 36: Just read It’s too tense for activities now!


My Dreamsnatcher Playlist

1. To get me fired up for a day of writing: Let it Go from Disney’s Frozen


2. When I want to introduce a bit more magic into the plot: Flying by James Newton Howard – from the most recent Peter Pan movie


3. The last few chapters of my book are pretty tense and I wrote them to this song: Narnia battle theme – from the more recent Narnia movie


4. I reward myself with this song after I’ve written a good chase scene: Septimus by Ilan Eshkeri – from the Stardust soundtrack


5. When I’m editing the book and need all my concentration to get it just right: Silence (anything else is distracting)


6. When I want inspiration: BBC Narnia Aslan’s Theme by Geoffrey Burgon (possibly the most magical sounding thing OF ALL TIME)


7. Standard writing day music: anything by Ludovico Einaudi


8. When I’m tired but know I have to write anyway: I’ve Come Home from the Spirit movie


9. When I’m willing Moll on to be brave against Skull: Spark Inside Us from The Princess & The Goblin movie


10. If I were ever to write a kissing scene (at the moment I can’t imagine my characters getting to that point!) I would write it to this song: Storybook Love by Mark Knopfler – The Princess Bride

theme song

1. Northern Lights by Philip Pullman

2. The Diddakoi by Rumer Godden

3. Wolf Brother by Michelle Paver

4. Skellig by David Almond

5. The Worst Witch series by Jill Murphy

6. The BFG by Roald Dahl

7. Harry Potter series by JK Rowling

8. The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe by CS Lewis

9. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

10. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

Top 10 Desert Island Reads

Abi Elphinstone Q&A

Abi answers your questions about her inspiration for The Dreamsnatcher