Children’s Book Week and National Library day: who’s your literary hero?

The British Library

Today, my mum is leaving her house in a bright yellow dress and as a brunette for the first time in a long time. She is Snow White. Why? Because it’s National Children’s Book Week, and she’s a teacher. It’s also International School Library Day today, and National Poetry day in a few days time. Woah! Lots of stuff to squeeze in right? I’ll save Poetry day for another time.

Firstly, Happy National Children’s book week! This year’s theme is Heroes and Heroines – ‘Who’s your hero?’ A COOL theme no? That’s what I thought! But then I struggled for days to come up with MY literary hero, and the ones I came up with are terribly predictable. Not one woman too! *bows head in shame* I don’t have a heroine in literature, but I have plenty in real life luckily!

1. My first hero is Goku from Dragon Ball Z, who I have a cartoon crush on (I know that’s cheating a bit as he’s not a literary character). He’s my hero in the he-makes-me-swoon and-faint-kind-of-way. He always saves the Universe and gobbles food with admirable enthusiasm. He’s amazingly forgiving, loving, funny and the strongest super saiyan in the galaxy. Oh yeah!

2. My next hero is Gandalf from the Lord of the Rings. PREDICTABLE! I have this thing where I secretly (or not so, considering I have a wallet and not a purse) wish I was an old man, like Gandalf or Dumbledore. Somebody with wit, magical strength, intelligence and wisdom. Women aren’t able to pull off a pipe, which is soooo unfair, and I can’t get a beard like that either.

Phew. That was hard work. Not all books that I enjoy have people I want to be like, because, well… they’re a bit too flawed like me. Hopefully, kids today won’t have the same struggle. The National Children’s book week is an annual event celebrating and championing ‘reading for pleasure’, which brings me to my second point: libraries!

Happy Library day! *pops party popper*

The theme is “a key to the past, present and future”, which is apt because there is a bucket load of debate and cuts going on this side of the pond. Emma Barnes, in her post tells us how she became sucked into a debate about the up and coming changes from the government on UK Primary Education English. Michael Rosen, has started a petition and one of the fundamental points raised between the two is that LIBRARIES ARE THE KEY in getting children to read, and to get them doing it for PLEASURE and not solely for hitting targets (sucking all the joy from it). Something that the government has completely ignored, apparently.

Luckily in Bristol, we haven’t suffered many library cuts, and our Children’s Laureate, Julia Donaldson is touring the country to make sure this is the case all over. But we don’t have librarians in primary schools. There’s no doubt that children who read more, become better at writing. It’s never occurred to me before, how amazing it would be to have had a librarian in my primary school who could have advised me on a book, until I read a blog post tribute to a librarian (which I can’t find to link to), which made me incredibly jealous. I’d clearly missed out on a real life literary hero!

So tell me, who is your hero? How vital have libraries been to you? How important are libraries for the future? 

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7 thoughts on “Children’s Book Week and National Library day: who’s your literary hero?

  1. I have a Dragonball Z comic (in French) sitting here – I must give it a read soon.I'd say Repairman Jack (F.Paul Wilson). An ordinary guy who turns himself into a one man A-team but with worse enemies.

  2. HaRRy PoTTer of course:-)I visited the library every other Saturday as a kid, and now take my kids every Tuesday after school. Of course they have their school media centers too, but our public library has such a wider collection. Long live libraries! I'm a teacher too and didn't know about this week . . . but the whole school is dressing up as their favorite book character on Halloween (always do).~Cheers!

  3. Libraries are so important! We didn't have loads of money growing up, and it was the most amazing thing to be able to go somewhere and get a bunch of books completely free! I love, love, love reading and I really want my (future) children to discover the same joy. If libraries don't exist by the time they're born, I will be GUTTED! In fact, I may have to start one, if that's the case.As for heros from books, I always wanted to be one of the Famous Five or the kids from the Adventure series (River of Adventure etc). And I had a huge girl crush on Nancy Drew.

  4. Jamie: You sounds like a library addict! My local library was tiny when I was growing up, which I think said a lot about our local area. Rin:I would love my children to love libraries too. I'd do the same as Jamie there and take them every week. I'm afraid I missed out on al of those books. I guess that's the problem when you grown up with three brothers maybe.

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