If you live in Chichester and have children aged between 4 and 11, come on down to the launch of the Summer Reading Challenge at 9am tomorrow at Chichester library. The Summer Reading Challenge is about getting children interested in reading for pleasure, and this year it’s called The Story Lab.
The Story Lab is a hi-tech space station containing millions of novels in its vaults. It has spun out of control and spread its novels across the earth. The Story Lab needs help from young adventurers – if you each read six books over the Summer we can restock the Story Lab, and also work out where on earth we have crash-landed!
So come on down. I’m kicking off the event at 9am with an Africa-themed slot, reading from THE GOGGLE-EYED GOATS and SOPHIE AND THE ALBINO CAMEL. During the course of that session, you can learn to tie a Tuareg turban, learn to meet and greet in an African language and get your face painted. Copies of all my books will be on offer for sale and signing throughout the morning.
I recently did a school event in a secondary school during the course of which I asked groups of Year 9 students whether they read for pleasure. Out of more than 200 students, about 8 said yes. Even accounting for the Don’t-own-up-to-reading-cos-it’s-uncool factor, this is still a sorry state of affairs. I’m not blaming the school but I do think we should be doing all we can to encourage reading for pleasure from a young age. And that’s what the Summer Reading Challenge is all about.
If you live in or near Chichester, I hope to see you there.