The Community Read project has been running for several years now and invites the entire first year to read the same four books and then produce ‘responses’ to them in the form of written or creative work. This year included two brand new releases: Nevermoor by Jessica Townsend, and A Skinful of Shadows by Frances Hardinge. These were accompanied by the classic A Little Princess and Stay Where You Are and Then Leave. The Thirds once more embraced the project, producing a variety of work in response to the novels, from a tombstone (!), to a miniature tea set, sculptures, haikus, poems, book reviews, and some really beautiful artwork. The event encourages reading, self-expression, inspires student writing, sparks critical thinking, and much more. The conclusion of the project is marked by a party, where all the girls meet up to discuss the books, pick their favourite and receive prizes for the best entries.
This year we were also lucky to have an author visit included in the party: Paul Dowswell, who has written many children’s novels and specialises in historical fiction. He gave a talk about his new book Wolf Children, set during World War Two in Nazi Germany, followed by a Q+A session and he even had time for a quick book signing! Mr Dowswell was also kind enough to hand out the awards. The overall winner of the project was awarded to Hannah Barlow, followed by Zara Kazi as runner-up.