The first Hope Readers blog post of 2013: Happy New Year!
And with the start of the new term looming just beyond the weekend, now seems like a good time to have a look at what we’ve got planned for the project in the next few months, what we’re looking forward to, and our resolutions for the new year…
First-up: what books are we reading this year?
It’s that time of year again when the cinemas are packed with punters going to see the vast array of new and exciting films on offer. This year has been no exception, but it is interesting to see how many of the most popular films this year have had literary roots. As well as the adaptations of Tolkien’s The Hobbit and Yann Martel’s Booker Prize Winner, Life of Pi, which sold-out theatres in December, there were also screen adaptations of Tolstoy’s epic Anna Karenina and Charles Dickens’ novel Great Expectations. And it doesn’t stop with 2012: the new year will see the releases of two films based on novels – The Great Gatsby, which stars Leonardo DiCaprio and is based upon F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic novel, and Les Miserables which is the film of the musical based upon Victor Hugo’s novel set during the French Revolution.
So it seems that these stories can pull-in big crowds – but why does it take a book being made into a film for it to achieve such popularity?
Well, here at Hope Readers, we are going back to the beginning. Three of our shared reading groups with students at Liverpool Hope this year will be reading the novels that inspired these silver-screen efforts, finding-out exactly where the magic first came from.
A group facilitated by The Reader Organisation’s Communications Manager, Jen, and Comms Intern, Chantel, started reading The Hobbit back in December. They may have only just finished the first chapter, but they are already hooked. Jen says:
Everyone in the group has been surprised at how funny and colourful a book it is. Everyone’s had a go of reading aloud: there have been a couple of ‘dwarvish’ songs that we all read a line of – it was great! The tutor who takes a seminar with the students just before the reading group joined-in, and said that she was going to ask for the book at Christmas…
Two more groups have embarked upon Fitzgerald’s novel set in America during the Roaring Twenties. One of the male members of my Wednesday lunchtime group commented,
I’m really loving The Great Gatsby – the descriptions in it are just unlike anything else I’ve read. I can’t wait to find out what happens each week, and I love F Scott Fitzgerald’s style of writing. I’ll definitely look for other things by him to read after this.
But what do you think? What film adaptations have you seen – and have they matched-up to the books? And what books would you like to see made into films?
Up next: some Reading Resolutions for the new year…
Cathy Tyson, Frank Cottrell Boyce, Louis de Bernieres… it’s The Reader Organisation’s Penny Readings 2012
From The blog of The Reader Organisation: www.thereaderonline.co.uk:
The 2012 Penny and Ha’Penny Readings, Sunday 9th December, St George’s Hall
Hope readers are happy to announce the full details of one of the most anticipated Christmas events in Liverpool: the 2012 Penny Readings.
Taking place on Sunday 9th December at 6.30pm in the magnificent surroundings of the Concert Room, St. George’s Hall, the all-singing, all-dancing festive bash returns for a ninth year, welcoming Liverpool born actor Cathy Tyson, award-winning local author (and Hope’s Professor of Reading) Frank Cottrell Boyce and the author ofCaptain Corelli’s Mandolin Louis De Bernières as this year’s special star readers.
The Penny Readings have become a staple of the festive season in Liverpool, with a spectacular show of reading, music and entertainment ,all for the price of a penny. This follows in the footsteps of Charles Dickens – a man who knew a lot about festivity – who toured across the North West giving public readings for the same price back in the 1840s, filling the venues he visited. Our Penny Readings look set to be no different, as an array of wonderful local talent look set to guarantee another memorable evening, supported by Big Lottery Fund and Publiship.
“Having appeared in The Reader Organisation’s touring Penny Readings in London and Guernsey, I am delighted to join them at the event’s home in Liverpool for this unmissable festive occasion.”
We’re looking forward to welcoming him, along with Cathy Tyson, Frank Cottrell Boyce, musical performers from Liverpool Harmonic Gospel Choir and Georgina Aasgaard, a cellist with Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, as well as readers from the team at The Reader Organisation, for a fantastic evening, which will be supported by the Big Lottery Fund and Publiship.
Our afternoon event for children and families, the Ha’penny Readings, will also be returning, held on the same day in the same place at 2.30pm. The event for young readers features music, comedy capers, selected readings for the festive season and special guest, Angela Macmillan, editor of A Little, Aloud for Children – as well as a special appearance from Santa himself. (all children must be accompanied by an adult to the event)
As tickets are in such high demand for the Penny and Ha’penny Readings, there will be a public raffle to allocate the limited number available (only one pair of tickets are available for each person).
To enter, please call the Penny Readings Hotline on07812 238 372 or email@example.com, leaving your name and contact details, and specify which event you would like tickets for (the Ha’penny Readings for young people at 2.30pm, or the Penny Readings at 6.30pm). The line is open from 9am Friday 9thNovember until 5pm Friday 16th November (any calls or emails before or after this time will not be entered into the draw). Roger Phillips will draw the first two winners of Penny Readings tickets live on Radio Merseyside on Wednesday 21st November.
There will be a separate ticket raffle for Get Into Reading group members. Entry details are the same as above, but please specify that you are a Get Into Reading group member when calling/e-mailing, and provide your name, the group you attend and the name of your group leader, along with your contact details.
All winners will be notified by Friday 23rd November.
If you’re lucky enough to get a ticket, make sure you bring down your one pence entrance fee on the night (just one half penny for for the Ha’penny Readings – though tickets are sold in pairs, so there’s no need to travel back in time for obsolete coinage). Best of luck and we hope to see you there!
Are you a Primary or Infant school teacher? Do you want to find new ways of encouraging a love of reading in your pupils? Do you want to find-out more about the world of children’s fiction and get reading recommendations? Then sign-up for …
‘Id’ do this every hour and every day if I could!’
The Reader Organisation’s Reading for Pleasure Conference 2012 (FREE)
Thursday 6th December, 9am-4pm at Liverpool Hope University
Frank Cottrell Boyce
Author and screenwriter, winner of the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize 2012
Gill Evans and Deirdre McDermott
Fiction Editor and Picture Books Editor at Walker Books UK
The provision and promotion of reading for pleasure is now an OFSTED requirement in schools, and the new draft National Curriculum for English supports this view saying that children should be encouraged to ‘read widely across both fiction and non-fiction to develop their knowledge of themselves and the world in which they live.’ This reading for pleasure day conference has been set-up especially to support you in the provision of reading for pleasure with your pupils.
At the conference you will…
- Learn about how to encourage children to read for pleasure both within and beyond the classroom
- Expand your knowledge of children’s literature, discovering some great new books
- Engage in a range of interactive and focused sessions, including participating in shared reading sessions based upon The Reader Organisation’s award-winning Get Into Reading programme
- Enjoy a session in which Frank Cottrell Boyce, winner of this year’s Guardian Fiction Prize reads to you.
- Participate in a Q&A session with Frank and representatives from Walker Books, leading independent publishers of children’s books
- Discover ways that The Reader Organisation and Liverpool Hope can help you
The Reader Organisation is a national charity and social enterprise dedicated to changing the way that people read and respond to books, with a reader-in-residence project with training teachers at Liverpool Hope University. Hear from some of the charity’s trained project workers who have extensive experience of reading with children and young people both in groups and one-to-on, in schools and other settings.
Frank Cottrell Boyce is a screenwriter and novelist born in Liverpool, who is best known for his children’s fiction. Frank’s novel Millions won the Carnagie Medal in 2004, and this year The Unforgotten Coat, which was originally written for The reader Organisation, won him the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize.
Walker Books is the world’s leading independent publishers of children’s books.
Location: Liverpool Hope University, Eden Building, Hope Park, Liverpool L16 9JD.
This event is FREE of charge, with refreshments and lunch being included in the day. To book your spot, contact Ursula Boote, CPD Administrator at Liverpool Hope:
0151 291 3363
Big congratulations go out today to Professor of Reading at Liverpool Hope University, The Reader Organisation’s patron and author extraordinaire Frank Cottrell Boyce, who has won the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize for The Unforgotten Coat.
The winning title was announced at a ceremony last night, and Frank scooped the prize for his story, which was written
exclusively for The Reader Organisation and Our Read 2011. 50,000 free copies of the book were distributed across Merseyside, travelling around the UK and the rest of the world and enchanting readers of all ages with its humorous and touching tale of two brothers from Mongolia who have settled in Merseyside and made friends with a girl called Julie, only to be forced back to their home country. The judges of the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize were similarly captivated by The Unforgotten Coat, remarking that it contained ”a very profound message dressed up in a magical, original, humorous story”.
On collecting the prize, Frank dedicated The Unforgotten Coat to the Mongolian schoolgirl who inspired the story, who was taken from her home with her family in a midnight raid by immigration authorities. Frank met her while doing a reading at a school, and heard of how worried her classmates were about her and, particularly, the fact she had left her coat behind. It was an image that stayed with Frank and set him to writing the book. He also expressed his delight at winning the prize:
It’s fantastic to win it anyway, but to win with something so exuberant, that was not trying to win any awards, is really great. This is a book that was written for fun, and for friendship.
We couldn’t be prouder of Frank and The Unforgotten Coat - a wonderful gift to The Reader Organisation and our readers across the world. Since the success of Our Read in 2011, the story has been enjoyed by so many of our readers in a variety of settings, and most recently Frank delighted students and staff here at Liverpool Hope University by reading from the story at the ‘Words of Wonder’ event, where he spoke alongside Danny Boyle.
Frank will be back at Hope on November 15th, to speak to first-year students in the Faculty of Education taking part in the Hope Readers project about why reading for pleasure is such a vital thing.
And don’t forget – staff and students at Hope can find copies of The Unforgotten Coat in the Eden building’s Garden Room right now! Happy reading…
From Lisa Spurgin, Online Communications Assistant at The Reader Organisation:
The Manchester Literature Festival is on right now, running until 23rd October, and is a must for any local literature lovers. The Reader Organisation has been proud to have linked up with this year’s festival through our new RISE (Reading in Secure Environments) project; MLF are the partnership festival that launched RISE, with events taking place as part of the festival in secure settings in Prestwich and Greater Manchester with poet Inua Ellams and author Joe Dunthorne last Friday 12th October. You can read all about the events and how Inua and Joe’s work was received over on the RISE blog, read and share your own thoughts on RISE authors’ work, as well as get the information on upcoming events, including our last RISE event in partnership with Manchester Literature Festival with Jackie Kay which is coming up next week.
The Reader Organisation is also taking part in the festival’s Family Reading Day this coming Sunday 21st October, which promises to be tons of fun for all ages. The Reader Organisation reads with people aged from 3-103 and can affirm that reading is at its most pleasurable when it is shared by all the family, so why not get yours together and join us this weekend? Some of TRO’s staff will be setting up a stall in Manchester Town Hall’s Market Place from 11am for a day filled with live, interactive readings from our read-aloud anthology A Little, Aloud for Children, with stories and poems to excite and enchant kids of all ages, as well as discussing how reading for pleasure can really make an impact upon children and young people.
You can find out more about the afternoon’s events on the MLF website. It’s going to be a great afternoon and the ideal way to start the Autumn half-term, so we hope to see you there!
You can find LOADS of copies of A Little, Aloud for Children in The Garden Room in the Faculty of Education. Pick-up a book, pull-up a chair, and dive in!