Author Visit with Special Link to Test Valley School

Ali Sparkes visiting Test Valley School

Test Valley School was delighted to welcome author Ali Sparkes to speak to all Year 7 pupils about being an author and how she comes up with the stories for her popular books for children and young people. She has written more than 38 books with these being sold all over the world. She gave a very inspiring and enjoyable talk on how you can build up an imaginative story around a group of characters in a particular situation encouraging pupils and staff to join her in coming up with ideas.

The visit was particularly special as Ali Sparkes also spoke about her latest book ‘The Man in the Water’. The story features the real Maguire family as the main characters, including Cameron who is a Year 10 pupil at Test Valley School. The story is about a family who go on holiday to Jersey but soon find themselves caught up with finding out who is the mysterious ‘man in the water’.

The Maguire family had successfully bid at a PICU charity event for the opportunity to be characters in a story written by Ali Sparkes and all funds raised from sales of the book are going towards the Southampton Friends of PICU Charity (Paediatric Intensive Care Unit at Southampton Hospital). The school was delighted that Cameron and his parents attended Ali’s talk and Mr Maguire was able to tell Year 7 pupils more about the charity and its work.

Copies of ‘The Man in the Water’ can be purchased from the charity’s bookshop on, or Amazon.