This week saw Norfolk schools return from the Easter break for the start of the summer term and with only 12 school weeks left until the end of the academic year, now’s a great time to encourage your young people to think about what they might like to do with their free time in July and August.
For those 13-25 year olds interested in working with other children and young people, Norfolk Libraries have recently announced that they’re looking for volunteers to help with the Animal Agents Summer Reading Challenge taking place at library branches across the county.
Volunteering sessions take place between the end of June and beginning of September, during the school holidays. They’re asking for a commitment of 2 hours per week although there can be scope to do more, depending on the activities which are running at your chosen library.
Young volunteers are vital to supporting the Summer Reading Challenge within libraries. Norfolk libraries work with young volunteers to ensure that children taking part are encouraged to keep their reading skills up during the holidays, and Challenge Champions volunteer alongside library staff to do the following:
- Register young readers for the challenge
- Talk to children about reading and what the challenge involves
- Help children to select books by sharing reading recommendations
- Work with staff to prepare activities
- Use creative skills to assist with craft activities and preparing displays
Reading Hack allows volunteers to use their strongest skills and vary the core Challenge Champion role. As a Reading Hack volunteer, young people can get involved with activities such as:
- Setting up a reading group for young people
- Producing content to share on social media such as book reviews, reading recommendations and reports on what is happening within their library
- Holding a regular storytelling session
- Helping with activities taking place within the library
For more information on Reading Hack visit: www.readinghack.org.uk or if you know some young people who are interested in helping out this summer, speak to staff at your local library or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to request an application pack.
Our team’s Friday Reads are below; don’t forget, you can find an archive of past recommendations here.
Apryl: Tidy by Emily Gravett
With the pressure now on to read as many of the CKG titles as I can, I picked this up one lunchtime to make me feel a little better about having not tackled any of the novels I need to read before June…
Emily Gravett is- in my humble opinion- one of the best writer/illustrators currently producing books for children and this title is another great addition to her canon. The lyrical story introduces us to a Badger called Pete who is very ecologically conscientious, trying to keep the forest clean and (as the title suggests) tidy. However, his desire to maintain neatness conflicts with the natural changing of the seasons and things get a bit extreme when the leaves begin to fall from the trees and Pete can’t just leave them alone!
Gravett’s books always appeal to me because of her wonderful illustrations and I loved the visible changes which take place in the forest- spring greens to autumnal oranges. The environmental theme of the book is incredibly important and could encourage great classroom discussion on why we shouldn’t meddle with the natural world!
(Two Hoots, £6.99 paperback, ISBN 9781447273998, find it at a Norfolk Library)
Harriet: Perijee and Me by Ross Montgomery
A good read for KS2, this is a story of aliens and monster humans who are prepared to kill, this is nevertheless in reality a sweet and funny tale of a naïve young heroine desperate for friendship.
Mocked at school because of her dyslexia, and afraid to tell her ambitious parents, she befriends a tiny white creature – but he doesn’t stay tiny for long, and chaos ensues. Only she is able to subdue the monster and restore peace and order to the country.
(Faber, £6.99 paperback, ISBN 9780571317950)
Zoë: Anyone but Ivy Pocket by Caleb Krisp
This story is completely bonkers! It’s not the sort of book I’d pick up usually but with a blurb beginning, ‘hold onto your bloomers…’ I thought I’d give it a go.
Ivy Pocket is sworn to secrecy when asked, by a duchess, to deliver a priceless diamond to the daughter of a dear friend. It is to be presented on the girl’s birthday. Ivy is prone to exaggeration, telling lies of a boastful nature, yet the truth is often mixed in with her tales.
During her travels from Paris to Suffolk via London she encounters some very strange characters as well as making a new friend. But is Miss Always all that she seems?
The story advances at great pace; Ivy has incredible exuberance which oozes out from the page. Perfect for an independent reader.
(Bloomsbury, £6.99 paperback, ISBN 9781408858646, find it at a Norfolk Library)