YOUNG READERS UK: The National Book Festival For Children and Young People, Birmingham Events in city libraries and many other venues including the street. The second week coincides with half-term and is aimed at children and families; the first week is more school-based. There will be "meet-the-author" sessions; writing workshops, storytelling and much more.
Highlights MAY 25 Briefing the Professionals, a day conference on the training of teachers and children's librarians in relation to children's literature. MAY 27 250 secondary school pupils will debate the motion: "This house believes that a book is always better when it's on TV" in the Library Theatre.
MAY 30 Bonanza Bookfair at Aston Hall. Will include illustration and cartoon workshops, African singing and dance, games and music, poetry and storytelling performances.
JUNE 6 Launch and open-air performance of Stories Through the Millennium, a pack developed with the Society for Storytelling for parents, teachers and librarians. A Young Critics Award is being run in conjunction with Birmingham Cable TV. For further information and programmes ring 0121 303 3368, fax: 0121 233 9702.
LIBRARIES REACHING PARENTS
After the Cup Final, Kick Off! (a campaign by libraries and the world of sport) gets the ball rolling for fathers and sons reading together. Football, cricket and fishing clubs, leisure centres and gyms are taking part (some offering ticket discounts to fathers and sons who have read titles on the linked book lists from Random House). Details from participating libraries (in Buckingham, Doncaster, Hull, Milton Keynes, North Lincolnshire, Oxfordshire, Portsmouth, Rotherham, Sheffield, Wiltshire and Windsor amp; Maidenhead).
May 31-June 13
Asda supermarkets are joining libraries in another Reaching Parents campaign, The Big Read. Look out for the in-store story corners and the mobile library in the car park. More details in Friday magazine on May 28 JUNE 4
A BP-sponsored project to promote paired reading in Scottish primary schools, pairing older with younger pupils. BP has produced a video and materials and the five LEAs in which pilot projects took place can help those interested in setting up their own projects. More information on the website: www.dundee.ac.uk psychologyRead On or telephone Moira Connor on 01324 476335.
DEFINING THE NATION
The idea for this Arts Council-sponsored project came from Arthrob, which aims to challenge young people's ideas about literary events. Events aiming to promote reading will take place in nightclubs including The Mint Rooms in Leeds (June 16); Night and Day in Manchester (June 17) and The New Scala in London (June 20). Writers taking part, chosen to represent different sections of the cultural community, will include Irvine Welsh and Biyi Bandele, the first black writer to be commissioned by the Royal Court Theatre and Royal Shakespeare Company. Details from Arthrob on 0171 439 3857.
1999 EDINBURGH BOOK FESTIVAL
The schools' programme includes around 40 activities and sessions with top children's authors, including J K Rowling, Mairi Hedderwick, Tim Bowler and Michael Rosen. Children can meet the authors informally after each event. Schools' enquiries to Jen Wood on 0131 228 5444. For a full festival programme, call 09065 500010