More than 100 pupils and members of staff at a Rickmansworth school waited patiently on Thursday morning to meet their literary hero and listen to him discussing his new graphic novel.

“Artemis Fowl” author Eoin Colfer rarely does school visits but on this visit to Merchant Taylors’ Prep he was joined by co-author Andrew Donkin, and illustrator Giovanni Rigano to launch a brand new hardback graphic novel “Illegal”.

Students were understandably excited at the prospect of meeting the famous author and his team, especially on the day of the book’s official release.

Watford Observer:

Year 6 girls from Charlotte House also joined the special presentation, during which the authors chatted about how they made the book, while Giovanni drew pictures for the schools to keep.

Year 8 head librarian James Ward said: “I really enjoyed how relaxed and informal the talk was, and that we had lots of time to ask questions.” 

Varshan Sasikumar, who is in Year 6, said Colfer was the best author to visit the school, while Year 7 pupil Luka Hinton said he loved watching a professional illustrator at work.

Four years in the making, “Illegal” tells the story of Ebo, who sets off on a hazardous journey across the Sahara Desert and risks his life on the Mediterranean Sea in search of his sister and the hope of a new life in Europe.

The audience all agreed it was a beautiful and timely story about the plight of migrants and refugees.

The event was made possible by Chorleywood Bookshop, and the resounding verdict from those in attendance was that it was “the best book event ever”.