Tag Archives: Generator


It was magical. A truly heart-warming experience that still sends shivers down my spine and I get a lump in my throat just listening to the video (replayed again and again) every time!

I was presenting at a primary school in Pitmedden, a small town past Aberdeen. It was a Monday afternoon and the kids were still  getting into the swing of the new week. It was a straight-forward performance, nothing special… just the usual reading session, bums and bogies, my normal enthusiasm and energy for books and 160 pupils in the audience.

And then it happened…

I wasn’t prepared for it, wasn’t expecting it and I was so shocked and thrilled by the effect I’d had on the kids that I was almost too slow to grab my phone.

The pupils spontaneously burst into a chant of Reading rocks! Reading rocks! Reading rocks! They were so inspired by my book presentation that they needed an outlet for their own enthusiasm – it wasn’t planned, rehearsed or even part of a normal gig – they just went for it as they queued to head back to class.

And it went on and on and on…

Eventually I snatched up my phone to capture the moment, there’s only one minute of tape but they kept it up for at least a minute before and a minute after I pressed ‘record’ – my only regret is I didn’t want to film the kids (their faces were brilliant) so I pointed the camera at the screen. It’s not right to record children in schools without permission but I didn’t want to miss their energy. Just listen to it.

The teachers didn’t want to stop it, every single pupil was openly admitting a love for reading, unafraid of what anyone else thought and books were cool again!

The head even said later she’d never seen such a passionate response to books, literacy or reading and it was at that moment that I truly realised that I was born to present the Reading Rocks! events. I was put on this planet to inspire kids to read more books, more often.

Just turn the sound up and enjoy!


Festival of Fun!

Festival Poster

What an absolutely stunning summer! First, back in June I broke the 300 Barrier, with the number of schools I’ve performed in since I became a full-time author in February 2012. Then the next record I set was hosting an event in the oldest and poshest school ever, St Leonard’s Independent School in St Andrews. Honestly, it was like performing in Hogwarts!!

Into July and I spent most of the month down in schools in England before coming back home to prepare for my debut year at Edinburgh Fringe. Rehearsals went well, fly-postered Edinburgh and kick-started the Festval in earnest… maybe I got a wee bit carried away. 36 shows in 25 days, making guest appearances at four different children’s stand-up events; including three shows on top of a bus!

Three radio interviews, one session with BBC Learning and lovely cup of coffee and a Tunnock’s caramel log in Fred Macaulay’s green room, and still the excitment continued.

I sold almost 500 books, presented to over 3,000 people and lost 12lbs in weight. And to celebrate my first year at the Festival, I had my first ever tattoo done, my favourite book character Grandpa Jock . As Fresh Air Radio said… ‘Everyone should have a flatulence-themed tattoo somewhere on their body!’

And now summer’s almost over and the Scottish kids have returned to school. Thanks goodness for that, really. I can’t wait to get back to the day job properly ;)

For some reason, things have went pretty mental in the last few days. I sent out a few emails to schools, asking if they’d like to book an author event and suddenly my phone was crazy… I mean red-hot, never stopped ringing nuts! My diary is now almost full until mid-October and I’ve had to stop twice whilst writing this to take bookings.

Long may it continue and here’s my bookings for the net few weeks…
Fri 30th August – Kinneil primary school, Bo’ness
Sat 31st August – Charity gig at Bright Beginnings Nursery
Wed 4th Sept – Merrylee primary, Glasgow
Thurs 5th Sept – Alexander Peden primary, Shotts
Thurs 5th Sept – Clelland primary, Motherwell
Mon 9th Sept – Northern Parade primary, Portsmouth
Tues 10th Sept – Hampshire TBC
Wed 11th Sept – Sandown Bay Academy – full day event
Thurs 12th Sept – Cleeves primary, Glasgow
Fri 13th Sept – St Teresa’s, Glasgow
Mon 16th Sept – Whitelees primary, Cumbernauld
Tues 17th Sept – Riverside primary, Stirling
Tues 17th Sept – St Kevin’s primary, Bargeddie
Wed 18th Sept – John Paul II primary, Uddingston
Wed 18th Sept – Bargddie primary, Bargeddie
Thurs 19th Sept – Whitecros primary – full day event
Fri 20th Sept – Craigellachie primary, Aberlour
Fri 20th Sept – Lhanbrydie primary, Elgin
Mon 23rd Sept – Buckingham primary, Hull – full day event
Mon 23rd Sept – Radio evet with Hull radio station
Tues 24th – Links primary school, Stockton
Wed 25th – Wheately Hill Community School- full day event
Thursday 26th and Friday 27th – Currently there are 6 schools I’m trying to juggle into these two days. TBC
Sunday 29th Sept – Wigtown Book Festival – children’s event
Mon 30th Sept – Kilbrinie primary school, Kilbirnie
Tues 1st Oct – 2 events at Wigtown Book Festival
Wed 2nd Oct – Loreburn primary, Dumfries
Wed 2nd Oct – HMP Dumfies – family event
Thurs 3rd Oct – Castle Kennedy, Stranaer
Thurs 3rd Oct – Lochrutton prmary, Dumfries
Fri 4th Oct – Carrbridge primary, Carrbridge –
Launch of Gorgeous George and the Unidentified Unsinkable Underpants
Fri 4th Oct – Park primary, Oban
Fri 4th Oct – World Porridge Making Championships Ceilidh
Sat 5th Oct – World Porridge Making Championships event – specialty porridge
Wed 9th Oct – Holy Family primary, Kirkintilloch

Then there’s another 12 events booked in across the next 3 months. It’s going to be a rather busy period, starting Friday, reckon I’ll sell a couple of thousand books too ;)

I might need to get another tattoo to celebrate!


Silver Seal Winner – Forward National Book Awards 2012

Silver Seal











Awarded to Stuart Reid – Gorgeous George and the Giant Geriatric Generator

Ladies and gentlemen, it gives me great pleasure to accept this fanastic prize from those wonderful people at the Forward National Literature Awards. I can honestly say how humble I feel in light of their amazing predilection and proclivity towards good taste, their perceptive literacy acumen and almost flawless decision-making prowess – thank you.

Almost flawless… because obviously I didn’t win Gold (this year) but I’d still like to pass on my heartiest congratulations to whoever it was that won this prestigous award in the Middle Grade/Chapter Book Section. It’s on their website somewhere but, of course, I only got as far as looking for my own name. It said ‘Second Place Winners’ at the top so I allowed my particular selective narcassistic tendancies to take over and all I read was ‘Winner’.

Of course, it’s not really about winners and losers, it’s about the joy of taking part; where everyone receives a medal just for turning up. It’s about the overwhelming satisfaction in being judged by your peers and betters to have written a novel of literal quality, described as ‘entertaining, imaginative and very funny’, and for all the faninancial rewards that go along with it – except there was no big cash prize, so it really is all about the joy of taking part (and winning, obviously).

And what a fantastic group of judges they really are! They certainly know their stuff when it comes to books about as the entries were judged on their uniqueness, entertainment, and content. Amongst others, Cynthia Brian is a New York Times best selling author of Chicken Soup for the Gardener’s Soul, six other books and an internationally acclaimed key note speaker and host of radio and tvshows.  Mark David Gerson is a screenwriter, award-winning author and creator of The Q’ntana Trilogy of fantasy novels and feature films. The MoonQuest, the first book in the trilogy, has won multiple awards, as has his book on writing and creativity, and the film of the same name will be in theatres later this year. 

I’d like to thank my publisher, my agent, my wife, my children……. (continued overleaf – click here)
……….. the team at My Little Big Town, all the schools, pupils, parents, teachers, book shops, libraries and book festivals I have ever, and will ever, present to.

L love you all! No, no, it’s okay. I’ve just got something in my eye…

London Calling?


For a couple of months now I’ve been trying to sort out a few school bookings in London but for one reason or another we haven’t been able to tie anything down. Agreeing dates, clashing diaries, other committments; they’ve all gotten in the way of booking confirmations. Then I received this.

Maybe the Olympics have gone to their heads? Maybe London is becoming as loony as La-La Land in California but for whatever reason, I cannot fathom out the depths of madness that this politically correct borough council authority is expecting me to go to, just to present to school children about bums and bogies.

At least, they claim to represent a borough council. You decide…

Dear Mr Reid (author)
Further to your recent enquiry regards your book reading presentation in the borough schools district, I would like to ensure that you have filled in your risk assessment pro formas and had a full CRB screening.  I trust your material has had a full equalities impact assessment made and that your teaching mode has been cleared as appropriate by the regional Ofsted co-ordinator, as moderated by the LEA senior trainer and core curriculum lead intervener.
The reading levels will, of course, have been tested by the literacy co-ordinator and subjected to a multi-cultural awareness examination, to ensure there is no implicit or explicit culturally insensitive material, as it relates to the families of those from 56 nations represented in the school district. 

During ecumenical-awareness enhanced times such as our own, the contents of your publication will need to be vetted by the All Faiths co-ordination committee to ensure that there are no references to anything that could remotely offend any of our diverse faith communities is presented, no matter how obliquely.  This is a tricky test, which may require the engagement of an all-faith, multi lingual, expert team of positive action assessors, possibly complemented by a specially commissioned and recruited, and ethnically and gender weighted, focus group.

An earth-moving device

The regional public Heath board will be required to conduct a series of tests on the bogies of a sample of mixed gender, sexuality, faith, race and ability/ disabilities to ensure that the full dietary needs of all – vegetarian, vegan, halal, kosher and just fudging faddy or fussy are catered for, without there being too many challenges to those with particular dietary needs, and allergies. 

Use of the word “bum” will of course be prohibited, as it is too colloquial and fails to meet target 6 of Key Stage 2 communications through multicultural, non discriminatory interaction mode. Only posterier, derriere or glutomous maximus may be used.
You will be expected to be accompanied by two governors at all times you are on the schools’ premises and will not be permitted to film any part of the proceedings without the explicit prior approval of the parents/guardians/carers  for fear of any images taken being posted on the Internet and attracting unwarranted deviants.
You will not be permitted to use the word ‘Giant’ at any stage of your your presentation, as it has been deemed heightist and offends the vertically challenged amongst us. Studies have shown that 96.3% of all primary school attendees are below the average height of an adult, therefore, we presume, a highly sensitive group.
‘Geriartic’ is also inappropriate, considered ageist and ‘Chronologically Advantaged’ should be used instead. The council’s ethics committee has yet to deem ‘Generator’ offensive but we are sure it will happen at some point, particularly to protect the less efficient members of the public sector and the word should be removed from your presentation.
Whilst the nomiker ‘George’ is permitted, it must not be used with any regal or republican connotations or undertones, however the adjective ‘Gorgeous’ is wholly inappropriate, abusive, misleading and unrepresentative. We recommend you use the phrase ‘Less visually challenging’.
No child will be permitted to display any form of emotion during your presentation, as this would be regarded as the commission of an act of cultural bullying aimed at impacting adversely on the feelings of insecurity and inadequacy potentially suffered by child/children unknown who do not “get the joke”. Cultural bullying such as this has, in multi-national studies, been shown to possibly induce feelings of insecurity and inadequacy in as many as 0.2% of all pupils, and thus enhance the discriminatory exclusion sensitivities of many from different social and cultural family settings.
Once you have completed the above criteria in full and submitted your remittance of £499 to cover administration charges, then we will look forward to the event featuring your book Less Visually Challenging George and the Positively Pituitary, Chronologically Advantaged Mass Production Hardware in our district.
Yours Sincerely
Johann Spazierganger