I don't think I have ever come away from Fighting Words without learning something. Most of the primary school sessions tend to be really, really funny - the more absurd the story line the better they like it. And all girl groups can go the romantic route. But these lassies looked at, and developed - without too much sentimentality the themes of loneliness, feeling different and the saving grace of friendship - in whatever guise it presents itself. They were very very adult in their analysis and understanding of human feeling.
This particular bunch of kids loved to read (hence the maturity - don't say any different) and we chatted about books, Jacqueline Wilson is a big favourite as is our very own Roddy Doyle. But they told me too of a book they're reading in school 'Tom Crean -Antarctic Explorer' . One lovely little one confessed she normally likes 'totally girly' books but Tom Crean was deadly, she'd love if he had been her uncle and she thought that sometimes 'real life stuff can be very interesting.'I love that kid!
So as usual ( or at least for the fourth year in a row) I have kicked off my Listowel break with a visit to Fighting Words, where the future of readers and writers is being nourished. And God, it makes me feel happy!