English KS1 / KS2: Skulduggery Pleasant' by Derek Landy

YouTube star Amazing Phil explains what he loves about his favourite children’s book, Skullduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy.

He gives an overview of the story, in which twelve-year-old Stephanie inherits her uncle’s estate and discovers the horror books he wrote were partially true.

With her uncle’s friend Skulduggery Pleasant, the wise-cracking skeleton of a dead magician who can throw fireballs from his hands, she sets out on an adventure.

Phil reads one of his favourite extracts, and animation brings the character of Skulduggery spookily to life.

Phil explains that he loves the characters of both Stephanie and Skullduggery, and all the unusual people they meet throughout the story.

He shares his love of horror stories, which make him feel excitement and danger from the safety of his home.

This clip is from the series Bringing Books to Life 1.

Teacher Notes

In the classroom this could be used to introduce the work of Derek Landy.

It could also be used to generate ideas for writing horror or fantasy stories with older children.

After watching, children could discuss in pairs some of the characters mentioned in the book such as 'vampire security guards' and use one of the characters in a fanatasy story of their own.

Alternatively they could use the character they have taken from 'Skulduggery Pleasant' and place them into another story they are familiar with.

Can be used to highlight the huge range of reading experiences available to young people and to explore how students imagine and interpret the books they have read.

Curriculum Notes

This clip is suitable for teaching English and Literacy at Key Stage 1, 1st Level, Key Stage 2 and 2nd Level.

More from Bringing Books to Life 1:

George's Marvellous Medicine by Roald Dahl
Robo-Runners' by Damian Harvey
The Butterfly Lion' by Michael Morpurgo
The Demon Headmaster' by Gillian Cross
The Firework-Maker’s Daughter' by Philip Pullman
The Giggler Treatment' by Roddy Doyle
The Magic Faraway Tree' by Enid Blyton
The Wind in the Willows' by Kenneth Grahame
The Worst Witch' by Jill Murphy