EJ12 author Susannah McFarlane with Munno Para Primary School student Emma Craig and her classmates. How do you get your favourite author to come and visit you? Simply spend 52 hours putting together the most amazing stop-animation video you can possibly think of and send it to the author.Sounds easy, doesn’t it? For most of us, probably not, but for Munno Para Primary School student Emma Craig it was as easy as one, two, three.Emma recently entered a competition to celebrate her favourite book character, Emma Jacks, AKA EJ12 Girl Hero, and to share how reading helps her confidence and allows her to feel brave. The resultant video amazed the author, Susannah McFarlane, so much that she made a surprise visit to Emma’s school this week. Much loved by tweens across the globe, EJ12 Girl Hero chronicles the adventures of the savvy 12-year-old who uses wit and guile to solve mysteries. Emma’s fast-moving and emotive video captured the attention of EJ12 fans right across the globe, attracting over 100,000 YouTube views - mainly in the US, Canada, Germany and Australia - and has been featured on Mashable and Reddit.The video, just the third stop-motion animation Emma has ever created, went viral after her family and staff from the school shared it online. All of that online action prompted a surprise visit to Munno Para from Melbourne-based McFarlane, who conducted a Q&A session with Emma at a school assembly. Emma also received her prize, a complete set of EJ12 books for her school, an appearance on ABC News and some precious advice from her favourite author. “You’ve got to keep writing, you’ve got to write a little bit, ideally, every day or every week,” McFarlane told her. “Never throw anything out…because there’s always something you can come back to later.” The ethos of the book series is that girls can do anything and Emma is living embodiment of that spirit.
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