Why did you choose the two books for The Big Read?
I went to Waterstone’s with a list of books I thought would be good. I discussed these with the manager, Sara. She had some ideas too. Not all of the books on my list were easily available. Sara used the Waterstone’s internal website to get ideas from other stores and, eventually, we came up with two books we thought would work well.
Out of the two, which one is your favourite and why?
I don’t have one. ‘Diary of a Wombat’ is sweet and amusing and it suits KS1 but KS2 need a harder and more challenging read. I also like books with deeper meanings which the ‘Stories from the Billabong’ have.
Do you think people will read the book?
The idea was to read the books at home so that parents got involved as well. I think that sharing books is very important. The Big Read was designed for parents and children to read and discuss the books together. This sort of thing really helps our pupils get better at reading.
What are you expecting to do with people’s opinions?
The best thing to happen will be for opinions to go on the blog. Our blog will be better if more people added comments and opinions.
Are you excited about the schools partnership with Waterstone’s?
Yes, I’m very excited that Waterstone’s want to help us. When I had the idea, I did not know what help they could offer. So, I was really pleased when they gave a discount card to every family. It was also very good to talk about the books with experts.
How did you manage to get all of the school a discount card for Waterstone’s?
It was Sara , the manager, who came up with the idea.
How well did the book sale go?
It went very well and it was very busy. We sold all the copies of ‘Stories from the Billabong’. I think we emptied all of Britain of the last copies of the book because the publishers sent more from a warehouse in China, I think. You can see some pictures on the blog.
How did you think of The Big Read idea?
Last year, the Deep See Readers went to see Ali Sparkes in Bath. She was there because the festival had chosen her book, ‘Frozen in Time’ as the festival children’s book. The idea was to get as many people as possible to read the same book. I thought we could do the same thing as part of Australia Year and that thought led me to contact Waterstone’s to see if they would help us out.
Thank you for your answers
Matthew and Sophie