I’ve been lucky enough to have three books picked for the Booktrust’s Bookbuzz programme. Dear Scarlett in 2013, Murder in Midwinter in 2017, and now Bus Stop Baby in 2018. The scheme is for children entering secondary school, and is all about choice and reading for pleasure. Schools buy into it at a subsidised cost of £3 per pupil – and the children get to choose a book to keep from a selection of carefully selected titles.
Each time my books have been part of the scheme, I’ve done stacks of school visits and have seen first hand the effect of choice and ownership. I’ve signed battered copies of Bookbuzz books that a child has read over and over – because it is the only book that they own. I’ve met kids who don’t read but who have found in the Bookbuzz selection something that chimed with them – because they found it themselves. I’ve found that school libraries that haven’t got many books and have been poorly funded are enriched by the selection that they automatically get. I’ve noticed that schools that do Bookbuzz often seem to put reading for pleasure at the heart of their ethos.
If you are a secondary school teacher, librarian or parent – do look it up, here – you can sign up until the end of this month.
And actually, year 6 students can do it too.