Enjoying the BBC TV adaption of Good Omens by Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman (Corgi Edition 1991). Always a treat to re-read the book to see what’s been charged or missed out altogether, but with scripting by Neil Gaiman for the TV series these might be difficult to find. First published 30 years ago, it’s sold over 5 million copies – not counting a potential sales boost now it’s had a TV airing.
I recall the slightly bewildered reception the book got when I gave away some 20+ copies to encourage book reading on World Book Night back in 2012.
The Reading Agency has launched a Reading Well for Children booklist in response to data concerning children’s mental health in the UK. Launched on the first day of Children’s Mental Health Week 2020, it has been recognised by the Royal Society for Public Health and developed in partnership with Libraries Connected
In 2018, Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health reported that schools were on average making 183 Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) referrals every school day, with 56% of those referrals coming from primary schools.
The 33 books on the list, which covers areas such as anxiety, bereavement and bullying, include titles by well known authors like Michael Rosen, Tom Percival, Zanib Mian and Joseph Coelho. The books have been selected to help Key Stage 2 children (aged 7-11) understand and talk about their mental health and well-being, encourage conversation about feelings between children and their parents or carers, and offer support outside of a clinical setting or whilst waiting for treatment.
To learn more check out The Reading Agency
Last November the process of selecting the UK’s next Poet Laureate began with the appointment of a new advisory panel made up of experts from across the regions and nations of the UK. Its role is to offer suggestions on the scope and purpose of the next Poet Laureate, whose tenure runs for a decade, with a recommendation put to Her Majesty The Queen.
I’m delighted that West Yorkshire writer Simon Armitage is to be the new Poet Laureate taking over from Dame Carol Ann Duffy, who was appointed in 2009, and was the first woman and first Scot to take up the post. The announcement comes after Armitage won the prestigious Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry 2018.
He has translated medieval poems about King Arthur and Sir Gawain, retold The Odyssey as a radio play and written Last Days of Troy, a stage play for Shakespeare’s Globe and the Manchester Royal Exchange. He is currently professor of poetry at the University of Leeds and was professor of poetry at the University of Oxford between 2015-2019.
According to BBC News Armitage says he wants to celebrate what’s best in poetry and build on the work Andrew Motion and Carol Ann Duffy have done over the last two decades in terms of encouraging and identifying talent, particularly among young people.