Popular Fiction

Teachers of English have a habit of concentrating on the classics in defiance of a growing trend to assign pop fiction. Teachers of English, along with the literary cognoscenti do not treat the likes of Stephen King seriously. According to them pop fiction in any form is no substitute for the classics. "Struggling readers, who may not read the whole novel," are told that they will "learn much more by tackling a classic."

To adopt this view is to ignore the potential of popular fiction to engage student imagination and help them develop their language skills. Popular fiction has a power that should not be dismissed.

After thoroughly researching teenage reading and leisure habits Sarah Boland initiated a process which would encourage students to read. She determined that when students are encouraged to make multi media and art in response to novels they are more likely to read.

Everyone who was involved with the Pop Fiction project which bought 'To Love Veronica Bee' to LaTrobe Secondary College can only agree. The multi media and art which came from this project was quite extraordinary.

More Pop Fiction Projects

New, exciting Popular Fiction projects, following on from the highly successful work on To Love Veronica Bee, will be taking place at LaTrobe Secondary College, Reservoir East Primary School and Preston East Primary School.

During Term 2 students will present art work and multi media related to 'Magic Beach' by Alison Lester. Then, during Term 3 they will work on the juvenile novel 'Nathan Nutboard Hits The Beach', by the acclaimed Anthony Eaton, author of 'The Darkness', 'A Kind of Dreaming' and 'The Girl Who Lived In A Cave'.

Keep an eye out for progress as students work on this during term two and three. You can expect to see some wild beach holiday inspired multi media and artwork emerging.






Veronica Bee at LaTrobe Secondary College

Check out the Popular Fiction Hip Hop Music feature that was completed by LaTrobe Secondary College students. Students made altered vinyl covers and wrote lyrics about To Love Veronica Bee. They cut their singles at the Experimedia Centre in Melbourne's State Library. Graphic artist, Greg Blakey has designed this exciting cyber DJ studio where student tracks are played.

Rummage through the archives of the Popular Fiction Project, To Love Veronica Bee, which was undertaken at LaTrobe Secondary College during Term 1 and see how students from Year 7 right through to V.C.E. were engaged in a wide range of fabulous projects.

Popular Fiction's Sarah Boland is interviewed at Soul Food. As a part of that interview she has writen a fabulous, fun, short story especially for the Soul Food Community and provides readers with an opportunity to win a Crumpler Bag.

Popular Fiction's Sarah Boland interviews Heather Blakey with the view to tapping the creative force behind Soul Food.

Read To Love Veronica Bee.


In our new generation, many teenagers have no interests in books whatsoever, thinking that they are boring and such a waste of time. Even the most popular books like the Harry Potter series, are left in the bookshelves, sitting there, waiting for someone to read them. Sadly, teenagers spend more time with their mobile phones, sport, videogames and many other things. Now these things are affecting their reading skills, even their spelling skills.

The books can't be left sitting there, so some brilliant people came up with a very good idea to take books to a whole new level; where teenagers would be interested in reading it. The idea they came up with was "Pop Fiction". One of the soon-to-be-many pop fiction books is called "To Love Veronica Bee", written by Sarah Boland.

At my first glance of this book, I thought it was going to be the same as the other books that I had failed to read completely. But, like what they say, "You can't judge a book by its cover."

This story is about a girl named Veronica Bee. She had the perfect life in the right place: she had a friend she could count on; she doesn't have to worry about her school; she has 2 horses and big dreams. But it all went down the drain when her mother had decided to move to Kew in Melbourne. Of course, leaving your best friend and your beloved horses is a hard thing to do. It is still a big mystery to her though: why do they have to move? There are many things that she still didn't understand, and her older sister Penny seems to know what's going on. And her mother and father fight a lot more often. Now it's up to her to solve this mystery. Will she be able to put the pieces of the puzzle in place? Or will she forever life in a life of complete mystery?

This book is like no other. I think that this book would be perfect for teenagers to read because it has a modern feeling to it. Teenagers don't like boring stuff and do not like reading the same thing all over again, so maybe, pop fiction books like "To Love Veronica Bee" might give them interest to read again.

I would really advise people to read this book.

Nina Diaz from 7P LaTrobe Secondary College