Drop Everything and ReadJanet
World Book Day, quite literally a day marked in over 100 countries world-wide, started in April 1995, and was first celebrated in the UK in 1997. Created by UNESCO its aim is to be a celebration of books and reading and to encourage young people to discover a love of reading which they can carry with them throughout life. Baroness Gail Rebuck, founder of World Book Day, is in no doubt that “reading is fun, relevant, accessible, exciting and has the power to transform lives”.
As a secondary school we want to build on the work done in Key Stages 1 and 2 to foster a love of reading, and whilst we may not encourage students to come dressed as their favourite book character, we do still mark World Book Day in numerous ways. This year we held a “Drop Everything and Read” session. Quite literally, at 12.30pm teachers in every class stopped teaching their subject to introduce students to their favourite book, reading a short excerpt, and discussing why they had chosen that particular book. Students then had a chance to share their own favourite book and spend some class time reading.
Deputy Headteacher, Mr Fenwick, chose ‘In it for the Long Run’ by Damian Hill, an ultra-marathon runner and environmental campaigner. The book charts Damian’s 4 years spent preparing to (hopefully) break the Fastest Known Time for running the Pennine Way. Spoiler alert for anyone who doesn’t wish to know whether he succeeded! Not only did Damian manage to knock almost 3 hours off the previous record, which had been held for over 30 years, but he also made sure his attempt was carbon negative – refusing to use plastic in his attempt and litter picking along the way.
As for why Mr Fenwick chose the book, he says, “Damian’s adventures are so challenging, pushing him out of his comfort zone and beyond his known limits. And yet he had the mental resilience to overcome the physical limitations, defeat the voice that was telling him to give up, and go on to break a record. It’s a great example of Growth Mindset – showing that the limits we place on ourselves are those we set in our minds.”
If that book doesn’t appeal, or if you’ve already read it but are struggling to find a good book to settle down with, you may wish to start with this list of 25 Stories for Teens published by World Book Day. There are some classics in there, as well as more recent novels. https://www.worldbookday.com/reading-recommendations/top-25-stories-for-teens/. Happy reading!