Reading Well

A new initiative was launched this week by the Reading Agency, designed to support the mental health needs of young people across the country.

Reading Well for young people is part of the Reading Well Books on Prescription scheme, which will provide 13 to 18 year olds which information and advice on a broad range of mental health issues including anxiety and depression, as well as other life pressures such as bullying and exams.

The Shelf Help booklists are incredibly varied (see here) and were chosen by young people and health experts to help with difficult feelings and experiences that can affect wellbeing. The books in question will be available in public libraries, including those branches across Norfolk, so look out for those the next time you visit your local library.

Also launching this week- the program for the University of East Anglia’s FLY Festival of Literature for Young People (find it here), running 20th– 24th June 2016.

Now in its third year, the festival is aimed at secondary school students (11– 18 year olds) and aims to inspire young people to read for pleasure, develop a love of books and to discover the power of writing. There are author events, readings and workshops from an array of wonderful speakers including (amongst others!) Children’s Laureate Chris Riddell, the award-winning David Almond, Carnegie 2015 winner Tanya Landman and Lisa Williamson, this year’s Waterstones Children’s Book Prize winner.

There is also an Inspiring Reading Conference for teachers, librarians and educators on the theme of Raiding the Past to Write the Present, featuring authors Celia Rees and Catherine Johnson. We’re already excited and it’s still a few months away! Booking is now open, so we recommend securing your places as soon as possible.

Over on the Norfolk Shelf Talks blog, you’ll see that Litcham School (the current blog hosts) have begun their shadowing of this year’s Carnegie Medal. We mentioned last week that our office have already begun to make their way through those shortlisted books we’ve not yet read, and in this week’s Friday Reads, you’ll see this is progressing onwards…

Harriet:  Hattie Peck: the Journey Home by Emma Levey

Hattie PeckDramatic stylish illustrations make this warm story about fostering special. Hattie Peck (a hen, naturally) loves looking after all sorts of hatchlings. Eventually they grow up and have to make their own way in the world, but they don’t forget their loving foster parent.

(Top That, £6.99 paperback, ISBN 9781784456580)


Mandy: Ghosts of Heaven by Marcus Sedgwick

ghostsThis Young Adult/Adult crossover has been shortlisted for this year’s Carnegie Medal and is a strong contender. The story is in 4 parts and, uniquely, can be read in any order. So I did. The thread running through the stories is that of the spiral in its many forms and the arc is that of human history, from earliest days into the furthest explorations of space. Each story, whether written in prose or free verse, is engaging, readable, thought provoking and sometimes disturbing. But is it a novel…or 4 very good linked short stories?

(Indigo, £7.99 paperback, ISBN 9781780622217, find it here on the NLIS catalogue)

Zoë: Let’s Bake! by Cathryn Dresser

bakeThis is a great recipe book from the 2012 Great British Bake-Off contestant.

The book begins with some handy tips and explanations supported by appropriate photographs. Recipes are then divided between the seasons, with a mix of sweet and savoury. Each one is written with easy-to-follow steps, again supported by photographs of either the steps or finished bake. The recipes vary in difficulty, enabling a range of skills to be developed. We had her version of rice pudding at home and it was delicious!

Cathryn encourages practise as baking gets better each time you do it. Each recipe has a soundbite from her, from sharing why it’s included to how popular a particular bake is in her house. I was intrigued to see the recipe for Friendship Cake and this transported me back to Secondary School (back in the 1980’s!) when these were all the rage. Hopefully, I’ll get time to start one soon…

(Orion, £9.99 paperback, ISBN 9781444010824, find it here on the NLIS catalogue)

You can read our previous friday reads here.

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