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An Invitation (Diamond Brothers series)

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By Anthony Horowitz

This extract, from I Know What You Did Last Wednesday in The Diamond Brothers detective series by the popular author, Anthony Horowitz, is an example of a serialized adventure mystery story. Setting up all kinds of questions, this section of the opening chapter provides an excellent story starter for children’s own extended story writing.

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These teachers’ notes accompany the PRINT ONLY guided reading leaflet in Literacy Time PLUS Ages 7 to 9 July 2008

The Diamond Brothers series stars Tim Diamond, the world’s worst private detective, and his quick-thinking, wisecracking younger brother, Nick. In the extract, Tim receives an invitation to a school reunion from Rory McDougal, now a multi-millionaire businessman, which comes with a first-class train ticket and a £1,000 incentive to attend.

Before reading

  • Explain the context of the extract.
  • List adventure mysteries (films or novels) the children know (eg, Dr Who, Star Wars, Harry Potter). Have they read stories by Anthony Horowitz before? What did they think of them?
  • Discuss what elements are needed for a good story opening, like setting up questions which the audience want to find answers to. Emphasise the importance of establishing a good relationship between the narrator and the reader and techniques used to draw the reader in (‘If you have read my other adventures, you’ll know ….’).

During reading

  • Emphasise the importance of reading with expression, taking note of punctuation and dialogue.
  • Comment on elements that intrigue or amuse – eg, the reference to their father being a door-to-door salesman, selling doors. Why did the brothers have to bandage Tim’s leg before reading the invitation?
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