Potter, Libraries, Peters and more!

Yesterday was Harry Potter Book Night; we LOVE this annual celebration of everything Potter-related, now in its second year. The 2016 theme was ‘Night of Spells’; voting took place on the Bloomsbury website and the most popular spell was Expecto Patronum (definitely the best spell in our opinion!). You can see the top 10 here on The Guardian website and we’d also recommend spending a good minute or too looking through the #HarryPotterBookNight tag on twitter- looks like everyone had such great fun at events across the country!

Tomorrow, Saturday 6th February, is National Libraries Day, a country-wide celebration where we praise how brilliant libraries are! There are lots of events taking place; there’s the big Norfolk Storytime where branches across the county will all be reading from Cressida Cowell’s How to be a Viking, along with other activities to support. You can find details here of which locations in Norfolk are taking part, though we would of course encourage you to visit a library anywhere regardless, to show them how important they are to you! All Norfolk branches and their opening times can be found here.

Libraries are important community hubs, about more than just books and reading, and we think it’s great when they’re supported so publicly. We still very much love Neil Gaiman’s 2013 Reading Agency lecture titled ‘Reading and Obligation’ (read and watch here), and this love-letter to libraries written by Phillipa Cochrane from Scottish Book Trust is wonderful: ‘If Walls Could Talk…’

We’ve also updated out Peters Book Award page with news of Phil Earle’s appointment as Book Trust’s 13th Online Writer in Residence. Phil’s book Demolition Dad is one of the titles being read by our Junior Book Award shadow readers, many of whom have been feeding back some really interesting thoughts on the titles they’ve been working their way through. Moorlands Deer Class in particular have been producing some very fine reviews on their own blog, which you can see here.

…and last but not least, see below for some Friday Reads from our team:

Apryl: Jane, the Fox & Me by Fanny Britt and Isabelle Arsenault (illustrator)

FoxI picked this graphic novel from our shelves on a whim, in need of something to read one lunchtime, and I wasn’t disappointed; a wonderfully illustrated tale about a girl called Helene who finds solace in the pages of Charlotte Bronte’s classic Jane Eyre. Helene’s struggles at school are offset by her daydreams about Jane and Mr Rochester and there is hope at the end when she begins to focus less on her former friends and more on how happy she can make herself. A must read!

(Walker Books, £15 hardback, ISBN 9781406353044)

Harriet: Harry Miller’s Run by David Almond, illustrated by Salvatore Rubbino

Harry MillerThis is a lovely dreamy short story about memory, love and achievement. An old man, reminded of a life changing event when he was a boy, by the young narrator who is going in for the Junior Great North Run, tells the story of just one day when he was eleven. As with all Almond’s books it is set up in the Newcastle area, and here in Norfolk we will be unable perhaps to follow his route, and his accent is strong, but it is such a sweet powerful story this does not matter. Rubbino’s lively illustrations feel completely  integral to the story, and the way he has contrasted depicting the present in two-tone greys with the bright colour of old Harry’s memories is highlighted at the very end with the ghostly – heavenly even? – appearance of Harry and his mates running among the competitors of today.

(Walker Books, £9.99 hardback, ISBN 9781406362244)

Mandy: The ACB with Honora Lee by Kate De Goldi, illustrated by Gregory O’Brien

ACBPerry and her Grandmother, Honora Lee, have a special bond, and that includes Honora’s friends at her care home. As Honora’s memory fails and words leave her, Perry collects words in a ACB scrapbook with special relevance to everyone at her retirement home as part of a school project.

Language and words form a central part of this story and this story portrays a wonderfully sharp but slightly confused grandmother and her adoring granddaughter in a positive light without a trace of sentimentality.

(Hot Key Books, £ 9.99 hardback, ISBN 9781471405051)

Zoë: Star Wars Joke Book by Emil Fortune

star warsA wide selection of Star Wars heroes and villains are attributed to ‘telling’ a variety of jokes for a Comedy Night Contest at the palace of Jabba the Hutt. There are some old favourites adapted to fit the Star Wars storylines as well as some new jokes and clever word play. I rather enjoyed the jokes from Stormtrooper and Lando Calrissian.

This would mainly suit Star Wars fans as you need to know the characters and stories to fully appreciate the meaning and humour.

(Egmont Books, £4.99 paperback, ISBN 9781405276306, find it here on the NLIS catalogue)

You can read our previous Friday Read recommendations here.

 

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