SF for Kids in Local Library

Today we had a little arts event in the local Civic Hall (put on by these folks). As the blurb promised some focus on literature I dropped in so see what was going on. I am very glad I did, because I had a long and interesting chat with a community officer from the local library.

During the summer vacation the UK runs a national literacy initiative for kids called the Summer Reading Challenge. Basically the idea is to get the kids to read six books over the summer. This year the focus of of the challenge is very much on science fiction. Indeed, there is even a special animated web site called SpaceHop that is part of the project (beware, slightly annoying music – off switch is at bottom of screen).

What’s more, in two weeks time (July 24th) the local library here in Trowbridge will have a special open day for kids. The theme is a Doctor Who alien invasion. There will be Daleks, Cybermen and even K-9. Also Imperial Stormtroopers. The kids will be encouraged to come in costume and vote for their favorite bad guys. Obviously it is very short notice, and I’ll be away much of the time between now and then, but I’ll see if I can rustle up a few freebies for the kids.

This does sound very promising. Peter, the Librarian, was enthusing to me about Michael Moorcock and China Miéville. That’s the sort of person we need encouraging kids to read. Hopefully we can give him some help. Let me know if you have any ideas.

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3 Responses to SF for Kids in Local Library

  1. George Berger says:

    I’m with Peter, completely. Let me suggest Rendevous With Rama, which seems to me to be on a decent though not too demanding intellectual level.

    For comparison, consider my initiation into the SF world, in New York City in 57 or 58. I was 14 at most. The great library on the outskirts of the Big Apple had Against The Fall of Night, the City and the Stars, Last and First Men, Star Maker, the Foundation Trilogy, and Fredric Brown’s
    brilliant, nearly forgotten, The Lights in The Sky are Stars. My knowledge of rocketry and astronautics took off from the 2nd edition of Willy Ley’s erudite yet readable Rockets, Missiles, and Space Travel.

  2. We have similar programs in the states. Actually when I was a kid back in the fifties it was our local librarian who gave me a “Wrinkle in Time” to read and hooked me on science fiction. Growing up where I did I’d thought the only thing girls could grow up to be was a housewife or a nun. Science fiction changed that forever for me.

  3. George Berger says:

    @Beth. My experience was similar. A librarian who had heard that I was interested in spaceflight showed me both sections I mentioned. This determined my later studies and was the final step towards my atheism. BTW that library also had Childhood’s End and the Lensman books. I never was able to read Smith’s epos.

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