Tuesday 5 May 2015


One NW school has an awesome way of putting reading for fun back on the curriculum; reading 'champion' Heather tells all...

Heather says:
As part of a project to encourage families to read together, our book club Novels and Nails was born… it is a weekly after school club that is free for any pupil to attend with a parent or carer. The idea is to mix a little bit of fun and pampering in with the reading… in the first term, pupils enjoyed hair braiding, nail painting and massage while the adults read to them. Lots of talk about books and authors could be heard amongst the giggles! This term, the club is so popular we have a waiting list! We have changed the format so that we all read the same book together and then discussing it, and the book we've been reading is CHERRY CRUSH!
We even entered the school's Book Bake Off competition to raise funds for Comic Relief… we used an extract from CHERRY CRUSH as our inspiration. The results were amazing! Various members of the school community are involved in the club, from mums to office staff, and teacher Mrs Knox runs it all. It's wonderful to see the children getting so excited about books… as JK Rowling said, 'If you don't like to read, you haven't found the right book.' The children - and the mums - even decided to contact Cathy Cassidy on Twitter to tell her about the club, and everyone was delighted when she replied! For the children, being able to 'talk' to the author just added to the thrill.
Books are most definitely at the heart of our school. Research shows that reading is the key to success, but books are so much more than that. I love to curl up and read with my two year old daughter and I know that she now links books with feelings of togetherness and love. At school, I champion a 'zero snobbery' approach to reading - there is a book (or newspaper, comic or sports programme) for everyone. If it takes a film to get the children interested, or baking cakes, nail polish, rugby or dinosaurs… who cares? I want every child to associate reading with fun, so they will feel confident and want to read. At our school, reading rocks - our pupils regularly tell us this!

What the club had to say about CHERRY CRUSH…
'I love reading, especially Cathy Cassidy books. Love it, love it, love it!' Hannah, Y4
'Shay sounds cute…' Mrs Goodwin, mum
'It's chillaxing at Novels and Nails, so you just float into the book…' Alice, Y4
'We all love this book, even our mums!'
'I love spending quality time with my daughter and her friends… and the new friends I've made!'
Cathy says:
I love the sound of this book club… what a cool school! Who knows, I might even pop along to see what they get up to for myself one of these days! Have YOU ever been part of  book club? COMMENT BELOW to tell us more...


  1. I run my own creative writing and book club for 16-20 year olds in my local area. Whilst it is quite quiet, the group itself is a nice group. We tend to meet and share book ideas and creative pieces over an ice cream or some kind of pudding!

    1. Wish we had some thing like that where I live :)



Reader Emily, aged ten, explains how a Cathy Cassidy book inspired her to raise money for a refugee charity... Emily says: The Cathy Cassidy...