Norfolk Festival of Storytelling…

Starting this weekend, Norfolk Festival of Storytelling (#NfkStoryFest) is for young children, schools, families and adults, with events taking place in every Norfolk library. The festival runs from 24th September to 9th October and stories will range from traditional fables to pirate adventures, Norfolk yarns to fairy tales. There will also be on offer several storytelling workshops.


The Norfolk Library and Information Service Book News and Reviews blog has shared the timetable here which not only gives an overview of events taking place for the festival, but other library events including Bounce and Rhyme sessions for toddlers and Shared Reading for adults.

You’ll also find on the blog here a list of those Storytellers participating in the festival, so why not take a look and see what’s going on at your local branch (which you can find here– aren’t we helpful!)?

Below are this week’s Friday Reads and you’ll notice that Mandy (who left us a few weeks ago!) has sent us something to include- she must miss us already!

Apryl: The Great Dragon Bake Off by Nicola O’Byrne

great dragon.jpgLike the rest of the nation, my Wednesday evening revolves around watching a certain baking programme so as an avid fan, this picture book by Nicola O’Byrne made its way onto my desk as soon as it arrived in the office.

Flamie Oliver is a dragon who loves baking, a hobby he hides from his fellow classmates at the Ferocious Dragon Academy where he’s supposed to be learning how to be very good at being very bad. However, his passion for pastry leads him to fail his exams and he must enlist the help of Princess Rosewater to prove to the rest of the school that his culinary talents are just as useful as having a degree in Dastardly Dragon Skills…

This is a lovely little read; I adore Nicola’s illustrations and was tickled by the cleverly pun-tastic names she gave the dragons (Paul Firewood, anyone?). The only downside is that it made me very hungry and for a change, there’s no cake in our office…

(Bloomsbury, £6.99 paperback, ISBN 9781408839560, find it at a Norfolk Library)

Harriet:   Aubrey and the Terrible Yoot by Horatio Clare, illustrated by Jane Matthews

Yoot.jpgThis is such an unusual read, funny, lyrical and sad by turns, with atmospheric illustrations and a great cover (it reminds me just a tiny bit of A Monster Calls, by Patrick Ness, Siobhan Dowd, illus. by Jim Kay). It doesn’t shirk from describing in straightforward terms the serious depression that hits Aubrey’s dad, but Aubrey’s imagination conjures up fantastical ways of dealing with it, often exquisitely described. Winner of the Branford Boase Award 2016.

(Firefly Press, £7.99 paperback, ISBN 9781910080283)

Mandy:  Rift by Beverley Birch

rift.jpgThis young adult title had me gripped. Sadly it is already out of print and out of stock at Peters- but the ELS are a library service so they still have a copy to borrow! Ella’s older sister has gone missing along with a group of teenagers on a school trip to an archaeological dig in Africa. This is the story of Ella and the local Detective’s quest to find the group before heat and thirst take their inevitable toll. Very atmospheric, with plenty of detail about early man and the local landscape; this story also shows the close bond between two sisters as well as what can happen when bullies, both child and adult are left unchecked. An unusual and involving read for a thoughtful reader.

(Egmont, £6.99 paperback, ISBN 9781405215893)

Zoë: (Un)arranged Marriage by Bali Rai

bali rai.JPGThis bracing story about Manjit (though he prefers Manny) is a challenging read as it covers an area I know little about, beyond what is portrayed in the media – arranged marriage.

At 13, Manny’s life is ticking along until the bombshell is dropped. He will be subject to an arranged marriage, like his brothers and sisters before him, when he is 17; marriage to an unknown girl from the Punjab, with all that entails, including a job. And babies.

This doesn’t suit him at all. He has embraced life in Leicester, not understanding why the rest of his family insist on following certain Punjabi traditions yet ignoring others. As he gets older, Manny finds the conflict of living in two cultures is making him seriously consider what he wants to do with his life.

Manny and Ady, his best friend, experience many typical teenage issues over the four years. Additionally themes of racism, sex and religion (not comfortable reading yet necessary) weave through Manny’s teenage years, culminating in a trip to the Punjab. Life is going to go the way in which his father has mapped out, unless Manny changes direction…

(Corgi Childrens, £7.99 paperback, ISBN 978055257345)

You can find the rest of our Friday Read recommendations in our archive, here.


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