A new literacy initiative, Regent Park Reads, aims to give Toronto students from Lord Dufferin Public School and Nelson Mandela Park Public School insight into the writing process through interactions with author Eric Murphy.
With help from the Indigo Love of Reading Foundation, 50 copies of Murphy’s young-adult novel, The Phantom’s Gold, were distributed to students at the two schools, along with copies for each school library. Murphy will read and discuss his novel with students this month, and have conversations about the craft of writing.
According to project coordinator Marianne Fedunkiw, Murphy – an actor and first-time author – was chosen because he “lives in the same neighbourhood as the schools taking part [and] the students find it interesting that one of their neighbours is an author.”
Published in 2013 by Cormorant Books imprint Dancing Cat Books, The Phantom’s Gold tells the story of a grandfather and grandson who must race a haunted sailboat to save their home and livelihood.
Regent Park Reads will conclude on June 12 with a field trip to Toronto Harbour, where students will have the chance to learn how to sail a schooner.
According to Fedunkiw, after the event, the project’s sponsors “will discuss the future of the initiative … expanding the partnership, scope of the project, length of workshops, etc.”