Read4Barnet: celebrating books and reading

Read4Barnet: celebrating books and reading

QE hosted Read4Barnet 2017 – a festival of books and reading that has more than doubled in size since last year.

Seven schools were involved in this year’s event, which featured talks by authors, a quiz and poster session, a travelling bookshop and awards for the best book reviews.

Joint organiser QE librarian Ciara Murray said: “I am really excited that QE was able to host such a vibrant celebration of books. It was wonderful to see so many schools across Barnet taking part and sharing their love of reading.”

“It was also a great opportunity for the students to hear directly from the writers they have been reviewing over the last few months.”

Besides QE, Read4Barnet involved Copthall School, Friern Barnet School, the Jewish Community Secondary School (JCoSS), Queen Elizabeth’s Girls’ School, Totteridge Academy and Wren Academy. It was conceived and put together by Ms Murray and her librarian colleagues at Copthall, QEGS and Wren Academy.

“The festival was run in 2016 at Wren Academy, but was on a smaller scale – this year we have twice as many schools, authors and pupils taking part,” said Ms Murray.

In the morning, there was a chance for pupils to hear from five authors writing for young people: Siobhan Curham, Richard Kurti, Non Pratt, Katherine Webber and Lisa Williamson. The visiting bookshop provided by the Children’s Bookshop, London, gave pupils the opportunity to buy the authors’ books and have their copies signed.

The afternoon activities featured workshops including a quiz and poster-making session, when participants were split into multi-school teams to encourage them to meet pupils from other schools.

In the period leading up to the event, seven books were shortlisted by the librarians, all of them recent releases for young adult readers. Participating pupils then submitted more than 200 reviews to the festival’s dedicated website, which was run by Ms Murray. In the final session of the day, prizes were awarded for the best reviews.

Ms Murray expressed her gratitude to staff at the Children’s Bookshop and at Walker Books for their assistance.

Click here to browse the Read4Barnet festival's website