Author posing for a picture with child at the book club

New Barnes book club gets kids reading for fun

Barnes has a new monthly book club aimed at changing the way children look at books, with an emphasis on the enjoyment of reading.

Organised by LitSoc, London’s largest dedicated children’s literature festival, the club is held in Barnes at St Paul’s School for children aged 8-12.

Every month children meet to discuss books recommended by Barnes Children’s Literature Festival, ask the author questions and explore important topics in a welcoming space.

Director and founder of the Literature Festival, Amanda Brettargh, said: “It’s important for children to not view reading as a chore, as choosing to read for pleasure has so many benefits for the quality of their lives and their chances.”

Images of previous book club meetings
FUN FOR ALL: Authors are making reading fun for kids. Image Credit: Barnes Children’s Literature Festival

Brettargh also explained how sharing books together has the power to build confidence, break down social barriers and support a sense of belonging.

She said: “After our first meeting, we received some nice feedback from one of the parents who said that her son’s reading confidence had soared now he had found a group of kids who loved books like he did, which encouraged him to read more.

“That’s when we realised that the club has a broader, social impact – most of the kids didn’t know each other when they first started and now they are friends.”

Previously chosen novels have included multi-award-winning author Christopher Edge’s latest mystery adventure Escape Room, followed by S. F. Said, the Blue Peter Book Prize author of Varjak Paw, with his new title, Tyger.  

Receiving hundreds of children’s books a year, the Literature Festival ensures each title is accessible in libraries so that children can read them for free.

Brettargh added: “We choose a book we’ve read that really captures our imagination – they’re not always the best-selling, or most heard of, or won any prizes, it’s just a book that we’ve loved.”

The next meeting is on Saturday 3 December 2022 with Loki: A Bad God’s Guide to Being Good by Louie Stowell.

Find out more here.

Featured image credit: Courtesy of Barnes Children’s Literature Festival

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