There has been some good news from the Reading Agency today, as it revealed the results of its survey, which shows that the nation is reading more during lockdown – particularly those aged 18 – 24 years old. There are two main reasons cited. Firstly, people now having more time and secondly, reading providing a form of distraction or escapism from the current epidemic.
The Reading Agency is also the organiser behind World Book Night which takes place tonight. (23rd April) To celebrate this event this year, everyone is invited to read a book and to share it with others – either people they live with or friends and colleagues using technology (e.g. Zoom or social media) The #ReadingHour takes place from 7pm-8pm, so keep an eye on social media to see what people are sharing. And if you find that 7pm is when you are busy preparing dinner and you couldn’t possibly read, then you could consider the option of listening to an audiobook instead.
Each year, the Reading Agency organises a selection of books to be distributed to care homes, youth centres, prisons and mental health groups for World Book Night. (These will be distributed later in the year because of the current lockdown) If you are wondering what books will be included this year, the booklist is available to view online. While many of the books featured on the list are for adults, there are a couple which are suitable for teenagers and children. Here is a quick look at them.
Crossover by Kwame Alexander
This story which is written in verse is suitable for children aged 9+. It won the Newberry Medal in 2015 and a graphic novel of the story has also been recently published.
“An exciting novel in verse about growing up, learning about life and basketball.” (www.worldbooknight.org)
On the Come Up by Angie Thomas
A story about hip hop, freedom of speech and fighting for your dreams, which is suitable for young adults.
This story has been shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal and the Children’s Book Award this year.
“This book is both powerful and fun. You’ll be rooting for Bri the whole way through, she’s a strong, powerful young woman and she’ll inspire you to make some noise for what you believe in.” (www.worldbooknight.org)
Things a Bright Girl Can Do by Sally Nicholls
Set during the period of the First Word War and the Suffragette Movement, this is the story of three very different teenage girls fighting for their place in society.
This book was shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal in 2019.
“Inspiring, captivating and romantic, this is the perfect story for young people learning about equality.” (www.worldbooknight.org)
Somebody Give this Heart a Pen by Sophia Thakur
Sophia Thakur is a performance poet who writes about being a young black woman in the world. This book is included in this year’s Read for Empathy Book Collection and is particularly suitable for secondary school pupils.
“A powerful poetry collection from a young performance poet that will strike a chord and speak to all young people.” (www.worldbooknight.org)