Between the lines

17th October 2003 at 01:00
TES books editor Geraldine Brennan on the inside literary track

The BBC Big Read reveals the nation's Top 21 best-loved books tomorrow (BBC2, 9pm). Here's my dream selection from the top 100: Anne of Green Gables, Cold Comfort Farm, Goodnight Mister Tom, The Grapes of Wrath, Great Expectations, The Great Gatsby, His Dark Materials, Holes, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, I Capture the Castle, Jane Eyre, Matilda, Middlemarch, One Hundred Years of Solitude, Persuasion, The Secret Garden, The Secret History, A Suitable Boy, Tess of the D'Urbervilles, Winnie the Pooh and Wuthering Heights. Any problem with that?

Celebrity panels will pitch for their favourites over the next seven weeks, with a live programme on Saturday December 13 to announce the biggest read of all, for which voting opens tomorrow night.

To vote, tel: 0901 522 9000 (calls cost 15p), text the title to 86200 (texts cost no more than 12p per message), see www.bbc.co.ukbigread or use the red interactive button on digital television. Some schools may be registered as online voting centres. Keep an eye on www.readon.org.uk, the National Reading Campaign site, for the latest news and downloadable teaching resources.

Imagine, the interactive children's art exhibition based on Barefoot Books's multicultural illustrated books, reaches London's Guildhall art gallery, October 25-November 9: nothing to do with the other Imagine, the children's literature festival on the South Bank, which opens on the same day. But the Guildhall Imagine (which started in Manchester last year) also has a programme of events including a workshop on October 27, "Divaali: story and celebration", run by Nilesh Mistry, illustrator of the Barefoot book The Story of Divaali. Tel: 020 7332 3859 or see www.cityoflondon.gov.ukleisure_heritage libraries_archives_museums_galleries guildhall_art_galleryforthcoming_ exhibitions.htm

Book now for the Northern Children's Book Festival Gala Day, hosted by Middlesbrough libraries on November 22. The free sessions include a radio workshop with Ant and Dec for over-10s, sessions with Steves Barlow and Skidmore, Pete Johnson and Edge Chronicles creators Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell for eight-plus. For younger children, there's Nick Butterworth, Korky Paul and Francesca "Horrid Henry" Simon. Tickets are free but limited and must be booked by post from Monday October 20. First see www.ncbs.org.uk or tel: 01642 729421.

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