Yippeeee! A new school year! I hope many of you took the Lancashire Libraries’ Summer Reading Journey, and read lots of books. The weather was rotten, so what better way to spend a wet afternoon than curled up with a good book or three? That’s what I did. I read some belting books, including The Crowfield Demon, by Pat Walsh (a creepy thriller set in medieval England), and Ottoline and the Yellow Cat by Chris Riddell (who is stealing all the dogs in Big City?).
Go in the school library today, and listen for a moment. If you’re quiet enough, you’ll hear hundreds of soft voices whispering, “Read me! Read me! Read me!” Is it ghosts? Is it the new ringtone on Mrs Kirk’s phone? No, it’s the cry of books desperate to be picked up and read. They get very lonely over summer; the school is empty, and no one comes to read them. So put your library books out of their misery and get stuck into a great story.
Mums and Dads: check with your kids to see which book they’re reading; ask them what it’s about, and if they like it. Let’s keep those library books busy!
Look out for the new Steve Recommends books: “Oi, Frog!” by Kes Gray (one of the funniest picture books I’ve read), and “Charlie Mericks Misfits” by Dave Cousins. They’re both fantastic reads.
I’ll be coming into school soon to launch another writing challenge with fab prizes like before. Can’t wait!
See you all soon,
I’m Steve Hartley, a children’s author living in Rawtenstall. I have had eleven books published by Macmillan in the Danny Baker Record Breaker and Oliver Fibbs series. You may have seen the report in the Lancashire Telegraph that I am taking on the role of Patron of Reading at St. Mary’s. I think it’s massively important that kids see books and reading as a fun thing to do, so we launched the initiative with a very silly assembly, including a huge pair of pants, and a giant bogey!
For the rest of this school year and all next year, the teachers and I will be trying to raise the profile of reading (and writing!) within the school. We have lots of things planned, including competitions, book quizzes, library events, workshops, book recommendations, etc. so I’ll be visiting the school on a regular basis. Reading is a vital part of your child’s development. I don’t think it matters much what they read – comics, stories, factual books, news reports – as long as they do it regularly, and enjoy it. I hope you – the parents and carers – will give us all the support you can by encouraging your kids to join in with the events, and to read as much as possible at home.
If you want to know more about me and my books, look at my website: www.stevehartley.net
"It's a Book" by Lane Smith. It's a book about how brilliant books and stories are. And it's funny!
Spies in Disguise: Boys in Tights, by Kate Scott. When Joe discovers his parents are spies and in danger, he has to go undercover - as a girl! Gadgets, action, and dressing-up. A really fun read.