Friday, 1 February 2008

Liverpool Reads

2008 is the National Year of Reading as well as Liverpool’s year as European Capital of Culture. Liverpool Reads is proud to present its fourth annual reading adventure with two novels by author Mal Peet, Keeper and Tamar. The initiative is being jointly sponsored for the first time by Cobalt Housing and Liverpool Housing Trust (LHT).

Liverpool Reads is a city-wide reading adventure where each year a book is distributed for free across the city and a programme of outreach activity, author events, reading groups and much more, is coordinated to accompany the big read.

Keeper will be the focus book with 10,000 copies to be distributed for free on 6th March 2008 from Liverpool Libraries – a coupon will be printed in the Liverpool Echo on 6th, 7th, and 8th March which can be exchanged for a free copy of the book.

The novel tells the story of El Gato - the Cat - the world's greatest goalkeeper - how he, a poor South American logger's son, learns to become a World Cup-winning goalkeeper so good he is almost unbeatable.

In addition to this, Liverpool Reads will be using Mal Peet’s Carnegie Prize winning novel Tamar, which is a story of espionage, love, jealousy, and tragedy set in Nazi-occupied Holland and appeals to all ages.

3,000 copies of Tamar will be available to use in various intergenerational projects around the city, in particular in the north Liverpool area, in connection with partner organisations such as The Reader Organisation and The Bluecoat.

Sponsors Cobalt and LHT will be involved in setting up reading groups for local residents. Staff from both housing associations are looking forward to receiving training to work with the groups. Reading groups will also be run in schools and community centres, as well as with intergenerational groups across the neighbourhoods where Cobalt and LHT work.

We are extremely excited to have the support of Walker Books for this year’s big read, and author Mal Peet says of the project:

“Books are free travel passes for journeys through space and time, and it’s a brilliant, radical idea on the part of Liverpool Reads to distribute them to the people of Liverpool. And I feel hugely honoured that in 2008, the National Year of Reading and the year in which Liverpool is the European Capital of Culture, my books have been chosen as the City Reads. All it will take now for my happiness to be complete is either Liverpool or Everton winning the Premiership and the Cup. (One each would do!)”

Following the success of 2007’s Small Island Read where the city read Small Island by Andrea Levy in connection with Bristol, Hull, Glasgow, and the North and South West, 2008’s read will focus once again on Liverpool, its love of the beautiful game and its regeneration after the Second World War and on into its year as Capital of Culture.

The public launch of Liverpool Reads… Mal Peet, will be on Thursday 6th March (World Book Day) at 6pm in Central Library, William Brown Street. Mal will be reading from his two novels and answering questions. Light refreshments will be served on a first come first served basis at 6pm and the event starts at 6.30pm prompt. Tickets are now available for collection only for FREE from four Liverpool Libraries: Central – William Brown Street, Childwall – Childwall Five Ways, Walton – Evered Avenue, and Allerton – Allerton Road. Please contact Liverpool Reads if you have any queries: 0151 794 2291.

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