What's In Your Pencil Case? I Oxford Open Learning


    What’s In Your Pencil Case?

    Most pencil cases contain the essentials: pens, pencils, an eraser, a sharpener. But have you ever thought about links between these objects and the wider world of literature? Well, I hadn’t either until I started thinking about this blog whilst rummaging in my pencil case one day. Here goes…

    P Is For Pencil And Peter Pan

    P is also for the fun-loving, mischief-making boy who never grows up. J.M. Barrie created this much-loved character in the early 1900s and to this day, the leader of Neverland’s Lost Boys continues to bring joy to readers – and viewers – all over the world. Interestingly, and sadly, Barrie may have based Peter Pan on his older brother, David, who died in an ice-skating accident. If you fancy getting carried away with a children’s classic this summer, you could do a lot worse than Peter Pan.

    R Is For Ruler And Roald Dahl

    A quality, sturdy ruler is important, of course, but one of my all-time favourite writers – and yours, too, I hope – is Roald Dahl. Dahl was integral to my childhood, and I never forget the wonders of Wonka’s Chocolate Factory and the mysterious inhabitants of the Giant Peach that whisks James away over the sea. For older readers, Dahl’s there are creepy and suspenseful stories (there are a lot, and they’re sure to keep you occupied) are brilliant. Lamb to the Slaughter or The Landlady are great ones to start with.

    C Is For Compass

    Well, it was when I was at school. I don’t mean a compass that shows you the way, I mean the pointy object that helps you draw perfect circles! But ‘C’ is also one of the main letters in the J.D. Salinger novel The Catcher in the Rye. If you are looking for a good read this summer and you are over 14, I’d recommend this brilliant coming-of-age novel about Holden Caulfield. If it has the same impact on you that it has had on me, it will stick with you for a long while.

    H Is For Highlighter

    I love a good highlighter, but not when I find one with the top off, all dried-out – annoying! Yes, ‘H’ is for highlighter but it’s also for Harry Potter. I don’t think I need to explain who he is. This year, 2022, is the 25th anniversary (surely not, you may think? It is!) of J.K. Rowling’s first novel, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. Amazing – this would have been written well before many of you were born! A modern classic, surely, for readers everywhere.

    Can You Come Up With Another?

    Of course, most decent pencil cases should contain more than a pencil, a ruler, a compass and a highlighter. What other literary references can you think of? Here’s a small list to start you off…

    E is for Eraser
    I is for Ink
    S is for Sticky Note


    Image courtesy chrkl

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