Booktrust has a reading for pleasure programme for secondary schools, which is funded by the Arts Council. The programme offers a free School Library Pack to secondary schools, with reading material aimed at students between the ages of 11 and 14. There are 40 books in each pack, categorized as future classics, non-fiction and reluctant readers. Registration opened this week for schools to apply and the packs are allocated on a first-come-first-served basis and will be delivered in January 2019. If you are working in a secondary school, this is a great opportunity to get your hands on some additional resources for promoting reading for pleasure in schools. Teachers and librarians can also sign up to be on a selection panel, which makes decisions on what books are assigned to the School Library Pack each year. Application forms are currently available here.
This week is Banned Books Week and there is a new initiative to promote reading for pleasure among Year 10 students, by engaging them with a list of 20 books that have been banned. So, what is a banned book? Well, basically it’s any book that has been censored, banned or had a call for it to be removed from libraries, schools, bookshops or public circulation and you might be quite surprised at some of the books that you find on the list.
Lesson plans have been created relating to banned books and aim to teach the students about censorship and freedom of expression. The topic of banned books would also make for an interesting debate in the classroom.
Finally for now, there are plenty of online videos of authors reading excerpts from their books. This can be an interesting way to introduce students to new reading material. Renowned author Patrick Ness reads the first chapter of his new book And the Ocean Was Our Sky in the following video.