Summer Reading Challenge Sheffield Volunteers

This week I trained 20 young people from Sheffield, who have volunteered to help young visitors to Sheffield libraries take part in the Summer Reading Challenge. It is such a great project to be involved with.

This years theme is Space Hop, and the libraries are full of spacey resources, and there are plenty of activities to take part in.

The enthusiastic bunch of volunteers I trained were mainly recruited from schools (Meadowhead, Tapton, Birley and Fir Vale were particularly well represented). They are going to be helping out at the Sheffield Central Children's , Woodseats and Broomhill libraries. So naturally these are the best places to visit, but the Summer Reading Challenge is a national programme, so why not head down to your local library and get involved.

I have just spotted a great article that shows the benefit of summer reading like this, the Kids Lit Blog reports on an American study that has proven that summer reading has a very positive impact for children who participate.


Horner Brothers and Reading Matters win Creating Better Future Awards with Yorkshire Forward Result

I'm really please to say Reading Matters won a Creating Better Future Awards with Yorkshire Forward earlier this month. The award is in recognition for our partnership with Horner Brothers Print Group.

Since 2008 Horner Brothers staff have been attending Brinsworth Comprehensive School to carry out reading sessions with pupils. It has been a brilliant success for everyone involved and I have been really pleased to be involved. Long may it continue!

The awards were presented by Michelle Mone OBE, she said:
“The winners have all demonstrated inspirational partnership working, and their awards recognise the dedication and passion of those involved in each project.”


Dick Turpin: Legends and Lies by Terry Deary - Barrington Stoke Book 26

Terry Deary is famous for the incredibly popular Horrible Histories series. Horrible Histories and their spin-offs are great for reading partnerships. Plenty of grizzly facts and information, and the non-fiction format means you can dip in and out.

Dick Turpin: Legends and Lies, is a bit different. A fictionalised telling of the hanging of Highwayman Dick Turpin. Told in the first person by a poor boy aged about 12 who probably shouldn't be watching a hanging at all. He learns about Turpin's life from the other crowd members. Opinions are mixed from the very start, is he a hero or a villain?

This story-within-stories approach is very fitting for a man who was such a myth, even whilst he was alive. It is very hard to get a picture of the real man. An epilogue shows that most of the story is based on facts that have been twisted over time.

The hanging does not bring the revenge people want, just more bitterness. Even after his death, Turpin's story is not simple. His body is stolen from it's grave. A crime our narrator gets very involved in. There are some nice historical details, and plenty of gruesomeness. But they aren't the main reason to keep reading, because it is an enthralling story from beginning to end.

In doing a bit of research I looked-up Terry Deary's website. It has a whole load of resources that you could use in reading partnerships; jokes, recipes, songs, plays, quizzes, stories and more. Great stuff.


A few football reading resources

I have been going on about football a lot recently, my last review was a football story. But the World Cup means (almost) everyone is hooked on the sport.

At both the
Inspired for Life event in Rotherham and a celebration event at Sheffield Town Hall for Volunteer Reading Mentors last Friday, I talked to people about engaging reluctant readers. We found football was often a great 'hook' . I thought I would list a few of the resources I have found that can work really well:


The Dirty Dozen by Tony Bradman - Barrington Stoke Book 25

With the World Cup still in full swing, I picked a football themed book to review next, The Dirty Dozen by Tony Bradman.

Robbie gets his mates together as a football team. But his motivation is not what it appears. He wants to get into another team of richer kids, who snubbed him before.

Robbie's team-mates aren't stupid and they realise Robbie is not the team player he pretends to be. His best friend Gary is involved for the right reasons, and he takes over the coaching. Gary feels betrayed by Robbie.

Robbie realises he is behaving just the same as the spoilt brats he was trying to beat.

You can probably guess how it all ends, but there are some very well described episodes to get to a feel-good conclusion. The Dirty Dozen is a short book with plenty of pictures.; perfect for a bit of World Cup inspired reading.

For more Football Reading activities, see some of by previous posts: