Sunday, 3 February 2013

Upcoming Bookish Diary Dates

My days are as crammed with booky doings as the Fellow Reviewers' shelves are with the real things at the moment. The boys' school is launching their annual month-long Readathon next week which I have been helping co-ordinate. I'm proud to say we've rebranded it the Read-a-FUN! this year (do'ya see what we did there? do'ya?) to put the focus squarely on reading for enjoyment and to try and let the non-swots have a look in. Previous years have seen Super Swots dominate the prize gathering with lists of books read including 'Origin of the Species' and 'Mill on the Floss' (Yes. it IS a Primary School. yes they are all under 12).
To entice the ones picking their noses at the back, who know they cannot compete with such precocious tastes we're mixing it up a little this year. I've put in a new requirement to earn extra points by choosing at least one book preferred by/marketed at the opposite gender and also to read from as many different genres as possible including graphic novels.
We've got some extra competitions going including a 'Write a Totally Gripping first line' one, a 'Design a Brilliant Book Cover' one and an 'Extreme Reading Location Challenge'; where they have to photograph themselves reading in exciting places.

I'm looking forward to sorting through lots of photos of boys reading Jacqueline Wilson and girls reading Captain Underpants whilst hanging from monkey bars or sitting in trees. From overheard conversations there may be quite a few 'in the toilet' photos being planned too...ho ho.

I anticipate the graphic novel requirement is going to throw a lot of people and going to mean a lot of 'Tintin' and 'Asterix' (not that there's anything wrong with those) and not a lot else. I'm therefore going to try and put together a list of Primary-age-suitable graphic novel suggestions and get some to display in school. I put a request out on Twitter and got some great ideas. I'll stick the list up here when I've finished it too.

So next week it's our launch and tomorrow I will be busy sticking a 450 circle Bookworm up around the school. Every pupil, teacher and member of support staff has been given a coloured circle and asked to write their best book suggestion on it and then they're being combined into a wiggly Mega-beast. I'm really looking forward to seeing what they've all chosen and what are the number one most popular books in the school. I'm not really looking forward to the blu tac thumb I'll get.

I will also be busy (studies fingernails in casual fashion in preparation for name dropping) hangin' with our wonderful launch guests; Mackenzie Crook, Tony Gallagher; the editor of the Daily Telegraph AND the amazing illustrator Jane Ray! This is the jammiest jam of living in the particular creative-person-packed corner of London that we do.        

Our Read-a-fun ends on World Book Day, March 7th which is quite my most favourite school day when everyone comes dressed as their best book character.

But before then- do you remember International Book Giving Day from last year?  This much more inspiring way to enjoy February 14th than the yawn; usual romance, is back again this year and bigger than ever. You are encouraged to join in by passing on books whether new, used or borrowed to any children of your acquaintance or to any place where children have to hang around getting bored. It's such a great and simple idea and so worthwhile- do join in if you can.       

And if you live anywhere in the London area and will be around for half term The Imagine Festival is on at the Southbank for the whole week which has so many literary treat goodies to choose from it's quite dizzy-making. Book things! Quick!!


  1. I'm still trying to work out why you turned readthon into read-a-fun ;) It was a very subtle move of yours.
    What a lucky school though! And I hope the non-swots get a look-in. Jane Ray, randomly, is a former pupil of my (poet) step-step-father* Robert Vas Dias.

    *man my stepmother married after divorcing my dad. Nice simple family, mine.

    1. excellent. even more randomly Jane Ray was one of the first people I helped look after as a Student Midwife.

  2. Well done Polly and Co. So glad it is in capable hands. Hope you top last year for readers and £. Has anyone put "Bone" on your graphic novel list?

  3. We have such strong and brilliant foundations on which to build. 'Bone' is on the list xx

  4. Wow WOW WOW!! This sounds fabulous Polly - and it's so great to read all about it because it's really inspiring. I love the Write a Totally Gripping First Line idea....

    1. I know- I think that's going to be really hard to judge... Thanks Zoe.