NEW STUDY SHOWS CHILDREN ENJOYMENT OF READING HAS GROWN
The National Literacy Trust (NLT) has released new research showing children’s enjoyment of reading has grown over the past eight years. In a survey last year of 30,000 eight to 16-year-olds, 53.3% of children said they enjoy reading “very much” or “quite a lot”, a rise on the figure of 51.4% recorded when similar research was carried out in 2005. More young people are also reading outside class compared to previous studies and more young people also think reading is “cool”, according to the survey results.
One in four children in the “Children and Young People’s Reading 2013″ study said they did not have a favorite book, and 31.6% say they struggle to find things to read which interest them.
LONDON’S BOOK BENCHES
This summer, the streets of London have been filled with 50 book-shaped benches, celebrating a range of books from classics to modern favorites. Launched by the National Literary Trust and Wild in Art, the “Books About Town” project has placed 50 Book Bench sculptures around the capital, from Greenwich to Hyde Park, to celebrate books and reading.
Artists who have designed the benches include The Gruffalo illustrator Axel Scheffler. Ralph Steadman has reproduced illustrations from his designs for Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking Glass, and Lauren Child and Cressida Cowell have each created a bench based on their series, “Clarice Bean and How to Train Your Dragon.” Other benches feature Sherlock Holmes, James Bond, Mary Poppins, Hercule Poirot and the works of Dr Seuss. On 7th October, the benches will be auctioned at the Southbank Centre to raise funds for the NLT.
Originally posted on Write me a book, John!:
I surely hope you’ve been reading my posts this week. If not, well then I don’t much like you at the moment. BUT we can change that! On Monday I started a list of 55 questions about books and reading that I found on another blog. I’m answering 10 questions each day this week. You can read Monday’s post here and Tuesday’s post here. Let’s get to today’s questions!
21. What will inspire you to recommend a book?
I almost wanted to say “here, read this” to answer this question. I was going to link to my post titled Recommending Books. But no need to start off this set of questions on a bad note. I don’t recommend books. I have before, but just because I love something doesn’t mean that every person in the world is also going to love that same thing. You’ll get no recommendations…
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WORLD BOOK NIGHT ENDING
After a three year effort, World Book Night officials said they are suspending operations. Executive director Carl Lennertz cited lack of outside funding as the main reason for ending the book-giving project.
“The expenses of running World Book Night U.S., even given the significant financial and time commitment from publishers, writers, booksellers, librarians, printers, distributors, and shippers, are too high to sustain without additional outside funding,” Lennertz wrote.
This past April, WBN volunteers gave away about 500,000 copies of books and, although the program generated a good bit of local media attention, its impact on book sales was difficult to quantify. “For us here at World Book Night, this experience has been life-changing, as it has been for the givers and recipients of the books,” Lennertz said. The WBN staff will stay on without pay through early September to maintain social media contact with the givers, and to announce the winners of the giver essay contest.
LOUIS ZAMPERINI, INSPIRATION FOR “UNBROKEN” HAS DIED
World War II hero Louis Zamperini has died at age 97. A statement released included a message from his family: “Having overcome insurmountable odds at every turn in his life, Olympic runner and World War II hero Louis Zamperini had never broken down from a challenge. His indomitable courage and fighting spirit were never more apparent than in these last days.”
Angelina Jolie, who directed the 2014 film about his life based on the best-selling book “Unbroken” by Laura Hillenbrand, immediately expressed her condolences. “It is a loss impossible to describe. We are all so grateful for how enriched our lives are for having known him,” she said.
Born in January 1917 in Olean, N.Y. to Italian immigrant parents, Zamperini and his family moved to Torrance, Calif., when he was a child. He was a member of the 1936 U.S. Olympic track team in Berlin running the 5,000 meters. At 19, he was the youngest American qualifier ever in that event. In 1941, he enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Force and was later deployed to the Pacific as a bombardier on a B-24 Liberator bomber. The story of “Unbroken,” is set in 1943, and follows Zamperini as his Air Force plane crashes in the Pacific. He and two others survived without food and water for 47 days before washing ashore on a Japanese island behind enemy lines, where he was held as a prisoner of war for two years.
Zamperini was first declared missing at sea and then killed in action, but after the war was over he returned to his family in America with a hero’s welcome. On his 81st birthday, in January 1988, the former athlete returned to Japan and ran a leg in the Olympic Torch relay for the Winter Olympics in Nagano.
Zamperini recalled that Hillenbrand, in researching the book, asked to interview his friends from college and the Army. “And now after the book was finished all of my college buddies are dead, all of my war buddies are dead. It’s sad to realize that you’ve lost all your friends,” he said. “But I think I made up for it. I made a new friend — Angelina Jolie. And the gal really loves me, she hugs me and kisses me, so I can’t complain.”