World Book Day is a celebration of authors, illustrators, books and (most importantly) it’s a celebration of reading. In fact, it’s the biggest celebration of its kind, designated by UNESCO as a worldwide celebration of books and reading, and marked in over 100 countries all over the world.
The main aim of World Book Day, in the UK and Ireland, is to encourage children to explore the pleasures of books. At Millthorpe we encourage this with a range of activities. Most notably, this year we are marking the event with a repeat of last year’s Big Read. Most students have been into the library over the last few weeks and chosen a book. At an unspecified time on Thursday 5 March, the bell will ring and everyone in school will stop what they are doing and take some time out to read. Last year it was a great success, with the school becoming almost silent for the time that everyone was reading.
Thanks to the generosity of National Book Tokens Ltd, who provide book vouchers to more than 14 million children and young people, students at Millthorpe will also be given a book token which they can take to a local bookseller and exchange it for one of ten (exclusive, new and completely free) books. Or, if they’d rather, they can use it to get £1 off any book or audio book costing over £2.99 at a participating bookshop or book club (terms and conditions apply).
Alongside these two main features of the day, there will be other celebrations going on including quizzes, film and book trailer presentations, and many members of staff will be dressing up as book characters. We are also planning follow up work to really encourage students to read their books and become part of Millthorpe’s reading culture.
The World Book Day website at www.worldbookday.com is packed full of information and ideas to get young people reading and writing. For teens and young adults, this year there is on online festival for teen fiction fans. Taking place between 6–8pm on Wednesday 4 and Thursday 5 March, WBD TeenFest boasts a stellar line-up of authors including Holly Smale, Marcus Sedgwick, Derek Landy, Cassandra Clare, Holly Black, Darren Shan, Malorie Blackman and Sally Green.
With a heady mix of live activity on Facebook, Twitter and Google Hangouts, along with author blogposts, playlists, video-based DIYs and publishing careers advice, WBD TeenFest will deliver a whole host of brilliant book-based content straight to screen. Young people will be able to interact with their favourite authors via the TeenFest social media channels or simply follow all the action from www.wbdteenfest.com.