Category Archives: Blogging

Loving Books

This piece has been inspired by a conversation I have had with @Crusaderofchaos on Twitter. You can read it here

I love books, I always have and I collect them (hoard them as my dear lady wife says) and if I had the space I would have a room dedicated as my personal library. I would have one already but in life one must compromise and a multi-purpose room that is useful and used is currently more necessary than a private library (I hold the view that a library is necessary and useful thing to have but I wait for the day when we have space to allow that without massive arguments and upset).

Being a keeper of books I have a rule about my collection that I am less than flexible about: I will NOT lend you my books!

I have two exceptions to that rule – both of them friends that I have known for years, they hold to the views that you do not crease or break the spine when reading, do not dog-earing the pages, you do not eat while reading or leave the book open face-down on the spot that they stopped reading. They love books like I love them – with respect and care.

I know people (both friends and family) who love books by reading them with abandon and so often that they need to patch them together with tape. Books that they have had for so long and read so often that the books flop open at favourite pages and for them that is the greatest sign of respect one can have for a book.

You know what – they are not wrong!

I believe in sharing books and stories, I am a librarian for Pete’s sake! But my collection of books is mine – I have books I keep because they are beautiful, wonderful and thoroughly enjoyable!

They look good and I want to keep them that way.

My way is not wrong either.

I am not alone in the keeping personal books in perfect condition habit and I am sure that they know people who are bemused by that – as do I.

To all those who love their books by keeping them as near to perfect condition as they are able; I am one of you.

For those of you that read books to pieces huzzah! I hope you never change, but please do not hold it against me if I do not loan you one of my collection for it may ruin our friendship and possibly my book as well.

I know there is no wrong way to love a book or books – there are many ways and I will not judge you if your way is different from mine.

All I ask is that you don’t judge me for mine!

Three Years a School Librarian

In all the excitement over the CILIP Carnegie & Kate Greenaway Awards, coming to the end of another school year and the Football World Cup I overlooked the fact that this June is my third anniversary as a School Librarian.

For the eight years prior to this momentous month three years ago I had been (mostly) a Teen & Youth Services Librarian, with a bit of Reference, Adult Services and team management thrown in for good measure. Then the public services cuts started, at this point I was in Brent, a borough that cut its already tightly run library service into the bone. I was the first casualty in Brent and one of the first librarians in London to get the chop, the only upside to being at the front of the line was I could see what was coming and had six months to scramble for a new job before the axe came down.

I interviewed for 12 positions in six months and did well but not well enough in most.

It was in the final interview I went to that got me the call-back to run a library lesson on Anne Frank and biographies which went brilliantly until I turned round and realised that the computer that was running the powerpoint display I was using had downloaded an update and rebooted itself, it was Windows Vista so took about 20 minutes to sort itself out. I had decided not to wait for the reboot went on with the lesson using and got the kids to look at specific titles.

I left, convinced that I had blown it and cursed Microsoft products under my breath.

The lesson was a week before my post in Brent came to an end and I felt the breath of doom on my neck. My last day of work was on a Monday and on the Tuesday morning I was unemployed. I received a phone-call around midday on the Tuesday offering the post of School Librarian.

Three years later I am still here!

I have restocked the library, discarded ancient and unsuitable stock, physically removed broken bookshelves, organised about 25 author visits, gotten to know an entire schools worth of students (& staff), participated in two pantomimes and run an ongoing series of weekly lessons for years 7, 8 & 9 as well as all the other things that happen in a library but are usually handled by other teams.

I have learned a lot – how to survive being a solo practitioner, partnership working with school departments and new (to me) outside agencies.

One thing I did not have to do was learning this alone! There is a brilliant School Librarians Network who helped me and continue to do so and Librarians are some of the most avid & helpful Twitter users that I know and they guided me through the early stages of my new career path.

This summer my library is receiving a comprehensive refurbishment from the ground up – carpet, chairs, tables, a new coat of paint and an enhanced IT offer (five new computers).

I am looking forward to my fourth year and have started working on new educational resources to use in the new school year.
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Hello Darkness My Old Friend: is the Carnegie Medal becoming too Bleak?

There is a growing sense of disquiet among spectators of the CILIP Carnegie& Kate Greenaway Awards that the Carnegie has a growing darkness in its heart. There is the possibility that the judges vie to find a book that was darker than previous titles and have the author crowned as the next recipient of the award.

Each year after the winners have been announced there has been a vocal group of observers that shout that some of the titles are not suitable for younger readers, the subject matters are too dark for children to understand.

We are living in a golden age of publishing for young readers, the volume of quality titles that are published each year is still growing and the number of titles nominated for the award grows apace.

Authors are not content to write about safe subjects and retread ground that writers before them have covered, they may retell or reimagine old stories but often update them (in style if not content) and give them relevance to a modern audience.

Writing for slightly older audience gives writers more freedom in tackling contentious issues that they would have difficulty with if they were writing for younger readers.

I feel that the accusations that the winning titles are too bleak for younger readers are specious. Books are perfect for tabling discussions about what is happening in the world today. Children and adults enter schools with guns and innocents die, often for reasons that make little or no sense. Violence, war and death are routinely shown on news programmes; young girls are kidnapped or murdered for the crime of wanting an education.

Straying into fiction, EastEnders has shown murder, rape, kidnapping, arson and jaywalking although I think they do display the Samaritans number at the end of particular episodes for anyone who wanted to talk about what they have seen.

The veil of fiction can make it easier for readers to confront and discuss issues that affect them in real life. When talking to a parent, guardian, teacher or librarian about it is often easier to refer to pages that may have upset or confused a young reader than chatting about what they saw on the television or have experienced. Books can also help readers understand what others go through better than watching a film or television show.

I do not believe that children need to be cosseted or protected from the big bad world, the argument has already been made about children self-censoring anything they feel they are not ready for.

Is The Bunker Diary by Kevin Brooks bleak and unremitting? Yes it is. Does it tie everything up in a neat dénouement at the end? No it does not. Is it suitable for each and every reader that may pick it up? Maybe not but that is for the reader to decide!

Have previous titles that were selected been bleak, dark and troubled? Yes they have but the subject is almost irrelevant as the main point when considering a title for the Carnegie is:

The book that wins the Carnegie Medal should be a book of outstanding literary quality. The whole work should provide pleasure, not merely from the surface enjoyment of a good read, but also the deeper subconscious satisfaction of having gone through a vicarious, but at the time of reading, a real experience that is retained afterwards.

There have been years where no winner has been chosen as the criteria against which the books are measured are so strict.

The Carnegie Medal is awarded annually to the writer of an outstanding book for children and the judges choice on the matter is final. People will always disagree this is what makes for such rousing discussions about the shortlisted titles and winners but to accuse the judges of spiralling down to ever darker and nastier titles can be dismissed immediately.

A few years ago there was the accusation that only ‘worthy’ literary titles were chosen instead of more populist books.
When it comes to the Carnegie there is no pattern, judges cannot refuse a book just because a similar title or author won the previous year. The winning title is one that best matches the criteria which are freely available to view here:
http://www.carnegiegreenaway.org.uk/carnegie/award_criteria.php

The joy of reading is that you are free to read any book you want and put it down if it does not appeal. Not every story will fit every reader; there is diversity in choice and that is what makes it so wonderful!

Moths are drawn to the light and young minds can be attracted to the darkness in some books, but if they find it too dark they can choose to close the covers and move on to another title.

I do not believe that the awards are becoming too dark, the judges change every two years and new blood brings with it a fresh perspective and opinion on what the best book for a particular year is.

The darkness in fiction can be dispelled by closing the covers and waiting until you are ready to face it.

Some Thoughts on the Winners of the CILIP Carnegie & Kate Greenaway Awards

The Kate Greenaway Award goes to This is Not My Hat illustrated and written by Jon Klassen and the Carnegie Award goes to The Bunker Diary by Kevin Brooks.

ThisIsNotMyHat_thumbThe Bunker Diary
white barrier
This is Not My Hat was my favourite to win from the moment I read it – even before it was nominated. In all honesty I thought the same about I Want My Hat Back. The other short-listed titles were also brilliant but TINMH had my heart and support from the beginning!

The Carnegie Award winner was harder to call and I could not pick a favourite from the short-listed titles. The Bunker Diary is a worthy winner and a brave choice by the judges. In recent years the Carnegie Award has faced criticism over the dark stories that have been nominated and selected as winners and I am sure that this year will be no different. The Bunker Diary is dark, brilliant and probably not suitable for younger readers but it is an excellent choice!

I am looking forward to and also slightly terrified by the CKG Awards next year as I will be sitting on the judging panel and will have a hand in choosing the shortlists and winning titles. Over the years I have been involved in a number of discussions both online and in the real world about the awards and have always been a firm believer in the importance of the awards and now next year I will become part of the process.

I Predict a Riot Blog Tour: Why teaching makes me a better writer by Catherine Bruton

iparWhen I was thirteen and subsisting on a literary diet of ballet books, pony stories and Jackie Collins, my English teacher, Mr Scott, handed me a copy of The Outsiders by S E Hinton.

I felt as if a lightbulb had been turned on in my head: the world suddenly looked brighter, bolder, brasher, more complicated – more brilliant than before.

Now, it’s probably time to confess that I live a secret double life! I’m actually an undercover Hannah Montana (or my hubby might say Jekyll and Hyde!) Some days I’m Mrs Bruton, teaching English to teenagers in a local secondary school; others I’m an author writing hilarious but heartbreaking contemporary crossover fiction! Some days I get to be both at once – which can get a little complicated!

As a teacher, I have the great privilege to introduce young people to some of those ‘lightbulb’ books – the stories that open their eyes, enlarge their sympathies, expand their horizons, enrich their lives, rock their world and leave a fossil print on their souls.

And as an author those are the books I aspire to write: the lightbulb books. Which is why I don’t shy away from controversial topics. My first book, We Can be Heroes explores 9/11, suicide bombers, and Islamophobisa in my 21st Century take on To Kill a Mockingbird (via Alex Rider, Manga and Strawberry Laces!). It was nominated for the Carnegie and described by The Sunday Times as ‘witty, wise and compelling’ (which I may have engraved on my tombstone!.

After my second book, Pop! I was described by the The Guardian as ‘One of the finest teen writers of recent years.’ (Can we fit that on the headstone too?) It is Billy Elliot meets The X Factor via Shameless and it explores strikes, recession and the X Factor phenomenon – broken home and parental neglect via Simon Cowell and David Walliams.

caronfireAnd in I Predict a Riot I focus on the UK riots of 2011 with the story of three kids from very different backgrounds who set out to make a movie and end up involved in a riot in a summer that will change their lives forever.

And the thing is that I am constantly inspired by the many amazing kids I’ve had the privilege to work with over the years: teenage gang members from South London; street kids in South Africa; as well as the children of politicians and pop stars. Their stories, their voices inspire what I write, but also remind me of the responsibility I have when I write.

I first conceived the idea for I Predict a Riot when I was living in Peckham, teaching in a top independent girls’ school and helping out in a youth group with kids from some of the most deprived estates in London. That was where I conceived my the three main characters – Maggie, the white middle class politician’s daughter dealing with her parents’ divorce by hiding behind the lens of a video camera; Tokes the son of a notorious gang member who is running from trouble; and Little Pea, the kid who everyone has given up on – abused by his mum, neglected by society and pushed around by the ruthless Starfish Gang, he is devious, immoral, funny, clever, lawless, brave, maddening, tragic and ultimately heroic.

caronfire2Little Pea is my Artful Dodger. Inspired by many kids but particularly a boy called C, the naughtiest boy in my first ever class in Africa when I was just 21. Looking back, I suspect he had ADHD; he used to boast that his mum had sent him to the witchdoctor to have the devil driven out of him (something I also encountered years later in South London, incidentally). He couldn’t sit still and he drove me insane. One day, at my wits end, I sent him to the headmaster, not realizing he would be caned. Of all the mistakes I have made as a teacher, that is the one I am most ashamed of.

So, Maggie is me, I suppose. The white middle class outsider. Naïve and flawed, ultimately compromised by her role in the death of her friend. She’s every ‘poor little rich kid’ I’ve ever taught – materially rich but emotionally neglected – and believe me there are far too many of those.

policeenfieldFor Tokes I drew on the very best of every young person I have ever taught. He is a symbol of my belief in the potential for good in every kid; my belief that all children – no matter what their background – with the right support, the right help – one teacher who says, ‘I believe in you,’ or a parent who fights for them – can come good, have a second chance – be a hero.

So I had my three characters, but I didn’t really have a story until a few years later when I turned on the TV and saw Peckham on fire: kids as young as ten running wild and lawless, gleefully looting, smashing, destroying their own neighbourhood. I knew right away that I had found my story and it wouldn’t let me have any peace until I’d told it.

policeenfield1Ultimately it was my current pupils who determined the story I wrote. We were studying Lord of the Flies and, struck by the parallels with the recent riots, I asked them whether there were any circumstances under which they could have seen themselves getting drawn into the rioting. The discussion that followed was formative in shaping the book I wrote.

And so I Predict a Riot became my Lord of the Flies – but mixed with Made in Chelsea and Meg Rosoff; Top Boy and The Tempest; Pigeon English and Charles Dickens; The Knife that Killed Me and Son of Rambow; The Outsiders and The Only Way is Essex.

In the end I set out to write a book to make my students ask questions, challenge stereotypes, to flip assumptions about class and race on their heads … make them laugh, make them cry … break their hearts … make them angry … make them think! Switch lightbulbs on in their heads.

But I guess it’s not just for them. The Evening Standard observed that my books are ‘aimed at young people but beautifully written and sophisticated enough to appeal to grey haired cynics too.’ The thing is that I firmly believe young readers are more sophisticated, more open-minded and more receptive than their wrinkly older counterparts.

So, yes, I Predict a Riot is aimed at teens but I hope everyone parents, grandparents even, will enjoy it too!
policeenfield2
I took the photographs in Enfield Town on Sunday 7th August after the police came out in force to break up the riots, a number of rioters escaped the police blockade into the side and back streets where several cars were torched. – Matt

Beyond the Door by Maureen McQuerry Blog Tour

Time-Out-of-Time-2
What have I learned about the world from myth as a writer and a reader? Since writing Beyond the Door and The Peculiars I’ve been thinking about why myth matters. Over the next week I’ll be blogging in the U.S and U.K. about six things I’ve learned from mythic stories that have inspired me. Plus there will be fun giveaways and a post by cover artist Victo Ngai! Follow the thread…

What I’ve Learned from Myth Part 1 (with a little help from Mr. Tolkien)

The World is not a Safe Place
“It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.” Fellowship of the Ring
Go down any road in myth and you are likely to encounter…dark woods with no way out, labyrinths with monsters at the center, fairy mounds thick with enchantment, shapeshifters and on wind torn nights, the Wild Hunt. The mythic world is not a tame place. Don’t we know this already? And yet our culture tells us logic will prevail. If we do x, then y will follow. Myth reminds us that the world can be as wild and unpredictable as “an old wives’ tale,” at one moment full of heartbreaking joy and the next as dark as dragon’s lair. Myth never denies the existence of evil. Evil is real, horrific and evil is never good. To dismiss evil easily, is to diminish goodness. The unpredictable and fantastic are just around the corner. We are separated from the impossible by the thinnest of veils.

There is No Easy Way Out of the Maze
When Theseus finds his way to the heart of the maze, he must battle the Minotaur. When Hansel & Gretel get lost in the woods, the birds eat their breadcrumbs. Struggle and conflict will always be part of the journey. We shouldn’t be surprised when the dragons sweep in. In fact, dragons are essential because struggle and conflict, change us, create our arc. Every story is propelled by conflict. Readers want conflict and tension. Myth reminds us that conflict and tension are part of a full life and help make us who we are.
“Do we really have to go through [Mirkwod]?” groaned the hobbit. “Yes, you do!” said the wizard, “if you want to get to the other side. You must either go through or give up your quest. There are no safe paths in this part of the world.” The Hobbit

We Fear the Wrong Things
When King Arthur created the round table, with his brilliant vision of right over might, he was prepared for the enemy without. He was undone by Mordred. Time and again we find the hero’s fatal flaw bringing about his downfall. Think of Achilles and his vulnerable heel. Our heel may be pride or greed or even the dailiness of life that consumes us. We fall in love with Selkies, who will always return to the sea. We fear risk and adventures and looking like fools when the greatest battles rage in our own hearts.
It was at this point that Bilbo stopped. Going on from there was the bravest thing he ever did. The tremendous things that happened afterwards were as nothing compared to it. He fought the real battle in the tunnel alone, before he ever saw the vast danger that lay in wait. The Hobbit

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That’s it for today. Tomorrow 3 more lessons from myth for writers, for readers, for living at Making it Up Follow the thread…

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Maureen Doyle McQuerry

Time-out-of-time-blog-tour

Libraries a Celebration by Nerine Dorman

Libraries started it all for me. When I was little, and could barely read, I’d go help out at the Hout Bay library down the road from where I lived. At first I packed away children’s picture books but soon I had an inkling of how the Dewey system worked. I have lost myself in bookish things ever since.

Recently I have come full circle – libraries in South Africa now carry books I’ve written and edited. This, more than anything, makes me feel like I’ve “made it” – if there ever is such a thing.

Nowadays we have so much information at our fingertips, at the click of a mouse. But it is often a challenge to wade through this morass of resources. It’s not so much being able to find what we need, but how to select what we need. What is useful? What is utter rubbish? We must, in a sense, take on the skills of a librarian and become our own curators of knowledge.
I learnt those mad skills at the library. And, with all the changes and challenges facing how we access information, librarians as curators have become even more important as custodians and gatekeepers.

It’s a terrible thing to admit, but I no longer visit the library as much as I used to before the advent of tablets and smartphones. My visit to the library was the highlight of my week, and I spent hours wandering between the shelves.

The central library in Cape Town used to be housed in the historical City Hall, for goodness knows how many years. How many of us remember that rickety elevator? Or the worn steps in that narrow stairwell that twisted up and up? One room would open into another, and I never really fully explored all of them.

The library was always a place of discovery, and I suspect if I could take the time out of my busy work schedule it probably still would be.

For all the convenience of ebooks and websites, libraries are still, in my mind, valuable. Many wonderful books are simply out of reach to youngsters and students—be this a financial consideration or access to the technology that allows for a digital environment.

I feel here, in Africa especially, the role of the library as not only a repository of knowledge, but a temple dedicated to learning, is as important as ever, and we must do all that we can in our power to ensure that these doors remain open.

If I think back to what sparked my love of fiction and started me on my journey as an author, it was the fact that I had such a range of authors I could sample at whim: Anne McCaffrey, David Eddings, Poppy Z Brite, Storm Constantine, Jacqueline Carey, David Brin, Kate Elliott, Neil Gaiman, Katherine Kerr, Mary Gentle, Robin Hobb, CJ Cherryh… The list goes on and on.

That sense when pulling a book off a shelf knowing that “Yes! This book looks like one I’ll enjoy reading” enriches my often dreary day-to-day routine. For a short while I can escape to other realities and meet a cast of fantastical characters who’ll often linger in my thoughts long after I’ve reached the end.

I’d not have known many of these authors if it had not been for my local library. Even better now is that thrill of knowing that my own books are now waiting on library shelves for a new generation of authors to be inspired.

Perhaps the greatest change I’ve seen in libraries now since the old days is the spirit of inclusiveness. The library opens its doors for all South Africans, no matter their background. And, for those who hunger for learning, they have the opportunity to discover entire new worlds.

Nerine Dorman
Editor, author
WebsiteTwitterBlog

Some thoughts on the CILIP Carnegie & Kate Greenaway Awards Longlists

The 2014 CILIP CKG Awards mark the first time that a longlist has been compiled from all the books nominated by members of CILIP. The words inaugural and prestigious were used in the CILIP press release – they are good words although ones that I seldom use on a daily basis so I get a thrill when I see them in print (I am a bit of a word nerd).

From the press release:

Traditionally an extensive list of nominated books, comprised of titles which have received one or more votes from member librarians, is made public, followed by a shortlist announcement, before the overall winners are crowned. CILIP, the organisers of the Medals, took the decision to judge and announce longlists in order to shine a spotlight on some of the brightest authors and illustrators in the running for the esteemed awards, to reflect the high number of quality children’s books being published.

Read the full press release here

The books are chosen by the judges using the same rigorous criteria they use for the shortlisting and eventual winning titles.

Over the past few years due to the increase in quality writing for children and young people longlists had been growing ever larger; this has caused suggestion from some sectors about splitting the Carnegie Award at least into a teen and young reader award (that suggestion was shot down in flames and buried at several unnamed crossroads to prevent it ever rearing its head again). Large longlists also adversely affect the judges who have to juggle work, life and reading up to 120 books several times to adequately judge the merits of each according to the criteria for each of the awards. I will just say that the judges still have to read every title nominated to assess eligibility so the integrity of the awards is not affected in any way.

I am going to be on the CKG Judging Panel next year and am looking forward to the honour (there is a smidgen of dread as well but mostly excitement).

A small part of me is upset as some of the books I was hoping would make it through to the shortlists did not make it, I wholeheartedly support the longlisting as it will bring more books to the attention of the greater public as well as stimulating debate in the literary merits of fiction for children.

Adding a longlist to the steps leading up to the announcement of the winning titles will allow shadowing groups to follow the process more closely; previously by some arcane and unknown process the judges were able to whittle down 60+ books into a 6 book shortlist. Working with 20 titles is more manageable and if schools are able to carry the full longlist students will be able to start discussing the awards process sooner and will have the opportunity to compile their own lists of potential winners and discuss the titles in the run up to the shortlisting when the official shadowing scheme begins,

The books on the longlist that I have read are fantastic and deserve to be there, I will be reading as many of the other longlisted titles as I can before the shortlisting on the 18th March. I will hopefully post my favourites here during the week before the shortlists are announced.

Stories, Reading and Me

I have always loved stories, before I could read books I still had stories; I was lucky enough to have parents who read to my brothers and I in the evenings and on rainy afternoons when we were very young.

I can still recall the times my mother took me to Muizenberg Public Library for the story-time in the Children’s Library; the curtains would be drawn and the Librarian would light a candle for the duration of the story-time and while the candle was burning we would sit in silence while she read to us.

I do not remember when exactly I learned to read, at times I am still surprised that I am a reader as my primary school used Dick & Dora and Nip & Fluff – books that were created in the 1950’s & ‘60’s to teach us to read.

My younger brother went to a different school for sub-A & sub-B (grades 1 & 2 in modern schooling) and he regularly brought home books on world myths. I have vivid memories of the boojks with Jamaican and West Indian myths about Anansi the Spider-Man and ghost stories about Duppies and all manner of new and interesting stories that I had never come across before. I regularly nicked the books to read them (I always gave them back when he needed them).

One of the highlights of my week when I was a young child was my mother walking my brother and I down to Kalk Bay Library to borrow books. It was a relatively small library, but through the eyes of a child it seemed to loom massively with rows of shelves and high windows. The library was closed in the early ‘90’s and the only memories I have are of the smell of wood polish, rows of bookshelves, colourful carpets and bright books in the Children’s Library and the sound of windows slamming as the Librarian closed them; it was this sound that signalled that the library would soon be closing foro the day so we would have to hurry up and choose our books.

The last time a teacher read to me and my class I was 11 going on 12, I was in Standard 4 – Grade 6 in modern teaching terms. Our teacher Mr Paul would, for the last 30 minutes or so every Friday, read us a story. If it was a hot summer’s day we would be taken out to sit under the trees on the school field, but mostly it would be in our classroom, which was a prefab room that had been constructed as the school (Kalk Bay Primary) had become too small for its students. The only story I can remember with any clarity is The Monkey’s Paw – a brilliant short horror story. Then from Standard 5 and on through secondary school I have been reading stories on my own.

I have worked with several storytellers in Libraries over the past few years and they held their (mostly teen) audiences and me spellbound. Anyone who claims that young people are incapable of sitting still and concentrating has never witnessed a storyteller plying their trade with a group of young people.

For me being a reader does not mean I love books (I do) but rather that I love stories. Being able to read allows me to choose the stories that I want to experience, either in written form, listening to audiobooks or someone telling or reading a story.

Before there were books, scrolls or clay tablets there were stories; in times before literacy was widespread skalds, scops, griots, minstrels and troubadours roamed their lands telling tales, poems and histories to kings and commoners alike.
In my current role as a school librarian I read a story to my year 7s, 8s and 9s during at least one library lesson per term. All the students love being read to – even those that profess to hating books, a love of stories is present in everyone.

In 2014 I am going to try something new with reluctant readers in my library; instead of trying to get them to focus on reading books or e-readers as physical artefacts I will try to engage them with stories using audiobooks, audio lead-ins to stories and short stories to kick-start their interest in reading to and for themselves.