New programme that gives pupils a book of their choice set to create a buzz around reading in secondary schools
A new reading programme from Booktrust will roll-out this September to secondary schools across the country. Bookbuzz offers secondary schools the chance to give their Year 7 pupils the choice of a book from a specially selected list of 17 titles that include fiction, non-fiction and poetry. Bookbuzz aims to support independent reading for pleasure as children make the sometimes difficult transition from primary to secondary education as well as encouraging a whole school reading culture.
The programme, which - thanks to generous support from participating publishers - costs just £2.50 per pupil, is designed so that there is a book that will appeal to every child, whatever their ability or interests, crucially chosen by the pupil and supported by the Bookbuzz schools pack. The element of choice in Bookbuzz is key to its success: in a survey of Year 7 pupils 71% stated that the fact they had chosen a book themselves made them more likely to read it.
Professor Guy Merchant, Professor of Literacy in Education at Sheffield Hallam University comments:
Bookbuzz will play a key role in a school's policy drive to improve the student reading experience. Giving them the chance to choose and keep a book can be a unique and empowering experience, offering reluctant readers the encouragement they need to begin to enjoy reading. Bookbuzz will also give students a positive introduction to their school library early in their transition to secondary education, the beneficial effects of which cannot be underestimated. The enhancement of the programme with a whole school reading kit is important; where a strong school reading culture is established, this combination of aspiration and support can have a significant impact on students' life chances.
An independent expert panel selected the Bookbuzz titles from a wide range of books submitted by publishers for consideration, whittling it down to 17 quality titles from 10 different publishers that offer a breadth of genre and reading level. The inaugural Bookbuzz list includes a former Blue Peter Book of the Year winner, a collection of short stories about real-life heroes and a book about child exploitation in the Dubai world of camel racing from a former Carnegie shortlisted author.
The inaugural Bookbuzz book list:
- A Most Improper Magick by Stephanie Burgis (Templar Publishing)
- Journey to the Centre of My Brain by James Carter (Macmillan Children's Books)
- Rivets: Lifters by Joe Craig (Franklin Watts Edge)
- Heroes by Paul Dowswell (Usborne Publishing)
- The Messenger Bird by Ruth Eastham (Scholastic Children's Books)
- Twelve Minutes to Midnight by Christopher Edge (Nosy Crow)
- Small Change for Stuart by Lissa Evans (Random House Children's Books)
- Shadow Forest by Matt Haig (Random House Children's Books)
- The Secrets Club: Alice in the Spotlight by Chris Higgins (Puffin)
- Lost Riders by Elizabeth Laird (Macmillan Children's Books)
- The World of Norm: May Contain Nuts by Jonathan Meres (Orchard Books)
- Don't Wipe Your Bum with a Hedgehog by Mitchell Symons (Random House Children's Books)
- Spook Squad: The Beast of Hangman's Hill by Roger Hurn (Ransom)
- Boffin Boy and the Temples of Mars by David Orme and Peter Richardson (Ransom)
- The Dragon Machine by Helen Ward and Wayne Anderson (Templar Publishing)
- Call Me Gorgeous by Giles and Alexandra Milton (Boxer Books)
- Hello Dudley by Sam Lloyd (Templar Publishing)
Additional resources provided for free to all participating schools in the Bookbuzz school packs include two sample sets of the titles - one for the classroom to inspire pupil choice and one for the staffroom so that teachers can read alongside the pupils - free downloadable resources to encourage classroom activity around the Bookbuzz books and an online video which teachers can stream in class to help aid pupil book choice.
Schools wishing to take part in September 2012 should register by Friday 20 July.
Secondary schools can register for and find out additional information about Bookbuzz by visiting www.booktrust.org.uk/bookbuzz
Melanie Flynn, Head of Schools at Booktrust comments:
At Booktrust, we are excited to announce the launch of Bookbuzz, which gives every secondary school in the country the opportunity to sign up to an affordable reading programme that allows their Year 7s to choose and keep their own book to read for pleasure. We are very proud of the inaugural titles for Bookbuzz, and are very grateful to the panel members who debated and enthused and read a LOT of books to come up with the final 17 titles. Huge thanks are also due to the participating children's publishers who through their generous support are helping us to put these engaging and vibrant books into the hands of 11 year-olds across the country.
A Booktrust panel - including school librarians, teachers, a blogger and a children's book author - selected the books, which are intended to stimulate reading for pleasure, and reflect a diverse range of interest and styles.
This year's selection panel comprised:
Carol Webb (chair), Librarian at Forest Hill School and School Librarian of the Year 2011; Mike Conaghan, English Teacher and Director of Pastoral Care at Lambeth Academy; Jon Mayhew, author and specialist teacher; Mélanie McGilloway, Librarian at Churchill Academy and book blogger (www.librarymice.com); Tammie Wisnia, Key Stage 2 Leader at Allfarthing Primary School; Alexandra Strick, consultant in books and disability issues