Twelve Minutes to Midnight by Christopher Edge has been selected for inclusion in Bookbuzz, a new reading programme from Booktrust that 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 includes fiction, non-fiction and poetry (and includes five titles that are particularly accessible to children with lower reading abilities).
Bookbuzz aims to support independent reading for pleasure (and we at Nosy Crow couldn’t believe more in the importance of children reading for pleasure, either independently or because someone’s reading to them) 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 heavy subsidy from the participating publishers, including Nosy Crow – 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 commented, “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 panel of experts (including school librarians, teachers, a blogger and a children’s book author) selected the Bookbuzz titles from a wide range of books submitted by publishers for consideration, whittling it down to 17 quality titles from ten different publishers.
Here’s the inaugural Bookbuzz book list:
Twelve Minutes to Midnight by Christopher Edge (Nosy Crow)
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)
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
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.
Secondary schools wishing to take part in September 2012 should register by Friday 20 July.