A leading author has visited Cramlington students to speak about her new book’s link to war-torn Syria. Cathy Cassidy visited Year 7 and 8 students from Cramlington Learning Village to promote Sami’s Silver Lining. Pupils from Hareside and Shanklea primary schools were also invited to meet the writer during her third visit to the school. Librarian Eileen Armstrong said: “We think it’s really important for students who will soon be joining the school to have the opportunity to listen to authors talk about their work and the importance of reading.” The book tells the story of a family that escapes Syria and heads to England. On the way tragedy strikes and Sami has to lead a group of children to safety. Cathy said: “I wanted my readers to know why somebody like Sami was making that journey. It’s nothing you would undertake for fun”. The author has visited a number of schools to appeal to pupils and staff to support charities helping Syrian refugees. Cathy is also donating a large part of her advance payment for the book to the cause. She said: “The book can change people’s minds, but the money can change people’s lives. This book means a lot to me. It’s 100 per cent a labour of love”. It is hoped that the fiction novel will lead to a greater understanding of the Syrian crisis through the use of a story setting. The well-known writer has written 30 novels for young adults.