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Author pays a visit to Rochdale sisters

Date published: 17 April 2009

A couple of weeks after their uncle had read a story to them for Eid, three sisters from Rochdale were visited by the author.

Harisah (13), Armani (12) and Alina Khaliq (11) were visited at home by author Jan Needle after their Uncle Mohammad Saqib read them his book 'My Mate Shofiq'.

The three girls loved the story and wanted to meet the author so, after an exchange of emails, Jan Needle came to visit them.

They learned all about the author, whose full name is James Albert Needle. He was born in Portsmouth and went on to study in Rochdale before going to Manchester Univeristy.

He began his writing career as a journalist before going on to write his first book, 'Wild Wood', which offers a different outlook on the classic 'The Wind In The Willows'. At the age of 33 'Albeson And The Germans', his first published novel.

His best selling book was ‘The Bully’ and he told the sisters that in South America it is a compulsory text book which was translated into Spanish and it is also popular in Sweden.
Mr Needle has also written many TV scripts for programmes such as Thomas The Tank Engine, Sooty, The Bill and Grange Hill. He described how he felt very privileged and excited to watch his scripts come alive on screen.

The sisters found out about his favourite food (snails), music (Irish folk and George Formby) and holiday destination (France - probably for the snails!).

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