Read for Pleasure

Busy week, delivering my first course.

Read for Pleasure the How as well as the why – that was the tag line.  Helen, a literacy consultant, brought together the latest research studies into reading for pleasure.  Giving an overview of how important it is and showing indications as to why this will be the next important area in curriculum focus.

My role was to firstly give an overview of our school library, at Sacred Heart, and how it has grown year and year; being central to the role of promoting reading for pleasure.  After lunch I covered the activities which have been central to the success.  This included the competitions, the book groups, library lunches, displays and generally the whole culture of book promotion throughout the school.

Although some people in the audience didn’t have the luxury of a dedicated school library space, they could see how the ideas could be adapted to suit their class.

Hopefully, the promotion of reading for pleasure will be a major consideration for the candidates who attended the course.

Treehouse Crazy!!

The 13 Storey Tree House was a welcome addition to our library last year.  It has received a new lease of life due to being one of the ten books on the Cumbria Book Awards, Spellbinding list.

I recently purchased the next two books in the series which have also proved very popular.  The children are chasing each other to the library in order to be the next borrowers; boys and girls alike. Even the children themselves have noticed the series as a new craze!

Both new books continue the adventures in the most exciting tree house you are ever likely to come across.  An extremely imaginative, well illustrated book which will attract fans of Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Tom Gates.  With a new release due at the beginning of April – the 52 Storey Tree House; the children are already starting a reservation list!



Cumbria Library Service annual Primary School book awards, Spellbinding is about to begin.

The 10 books on this year’s short list have just been delivered to our school, along with the children’s reading passports and book cover stickers to collect.  There are books to suit boys and girls with most genres being covered.

As I normally join the children in reading the 10 books,  I’m really fortunate to have a head start!  I’ve already read and enjoyed 3 of the books on the shortlist; The Boy Who Sailed the Ocean in an Armchair, The Clockwork Sparrow and The 13 Storey Treehouse.  The children won’t be pleased though as they’re always trying to beat me!

This is our 4th year following the book awards and the children really enjoy it.  It really gives them the opportunity to read a range of texts, some of which they wouldn’t even entertain if they weren’t on the short list.

Hopefully we will see the same enthusiasm we saw last year with children coming to the library and asking if they could take part too!


New Term, New Competition!

Thought I’d have a focus on non-fiction books but the competition has to be accessible to both infant and junior children.  So I’ve decided on a ‘Where in the World’ competition.

The children collect a world map from the library which has the continents labelled.  They have to find an interesting or unusual fact about each continent.

My display shelves in the library, both fiction and non-fiction, support the competition theme.  Non-fiction books displayed include atlases, travel books, books about countries, animals from different countries etc. Whilst the fiction theme is stories from around the world.

The children have already been to the library asking what the next competition is, hopefully they won’t be disappointed!

Christmas library competition


Another competition which has proved really popular!

Have to choose two winners this week. I have already had over 70 entries all of which have been very different.  Begun to narrow them down and have a selection on the short list.  I’m sure I’ll get more entries this week so it’s not going to be easy.

The winner’s receive a box of goodies, including Christmas activity book, story books and some sweet treats. Each entrant receives a small prize bag!



Christmas Mystery


I first encountered this book about 10 years ago and have returned to it every Advent since then.

It is quite a complex story of a little girl called Elizabet who whilst shopping with her mum goes missing after following a lamb.  The little girl travels back in time 2000 years with many characters joining her along the way.  Eventually all are present at the stable in Bethlehem.

Meanwhile a boy buys a strange old Advent calendar from an old book shop and is intrigued when each day a special letter is revealed behind the door. Little by little the mystery of the disappearance of Elizabet is revealed.

It is definitely a story for more able readers who won’t be disappointed by the twists and turns they encounter as the story unfolds.

The copy with the silhouettes on the front was my first copy and is extremely beautiful inside as each page is adorned with silhouettes; a very special gift edition.

I have given this each year to more able readers in year 6 and each one of them has enjoyed it, even though some said they found it difficult to begin with, it was well worth persevering with.


Christmas has arrived in the library.

The Christmas tree in the library is much admired due to the book decorations.  There are lots of mini versions of Christmas books and paper decorations made from old book stock.  The children love it!

The mid shelving display has a selection of Christmas stock both fiction and non-fiction.  The main attraction here is the Advent house which has been filled with ‘cracker’ jokes by our book group.  Children are invited to share a joke and make someone smile for each day of Advent.