AUTHOR Dan Freedman visited Year 9 pupils at Malton School, which marked the launch of his first story for teenagers.

Best known for his Jamie Johnson books, that have sold more than 700,000 copies around the world and are adapted for a BBC television series, Dan has now written a stand-alone book for older readers.

His latest book Unstoppable also has a football theme. Dan worked as a sports journalist, and was later appointed as editor-in-chief of the FA for several years before he became a children’s author.

A spokesman for the school said: “I am impressed by how inspiring Dan was, especially for our reluctant readers, when he told them that he didn’t used to like reading when he was younger. He made it possible for everyone to understand how important language is if we are to achieve our goals.”

Ryedale Book Festival leader Sarah Tyson said that at the end of the event all 128 pupils received a copy of the new hardback book which Dan signed and dedicated to each reader. This was possible thanks to the generosity of an anonymous donor from York. Some of the audience were able to start reading their books straight away as their next lesson was English,” she said.

“The author is ambassador for the Youth Sports Trust and the Wicked Young Writers Awards. He is passionate about encouraging young people to find the right book for them and his enthusiasm in the promotion of reading for pleasure is shared by myself.”