To commemorate World Book Day this year there were several exciting opportunities for our Salopians to be involved in.
Pupils and staff were invited to take part in the Big Book quiz, which comprised over 30 questions featuring everything from Harry Potter to Hunger Games, Shakespeare to Stephen King and Tolkien to Twain. Salopians were challenged to put their literary knowledge to the test to try and get their names on the leader board.
Shrewsbury School also hosted award-winning author Alex Wheatle, who talked about his life and writing on a Zoom call organised by Authors Aloud.
Alex’s books (Straight Outta Crongton, Liccle Bit, Home Boy, Cane Warriors and The Humiliation of Welton Blake) are packed with passion and energy, but also wit and a huge amount of empathy for the characters. Alex grew up in care. His turbulent childhood was recently dramatised in an episode of Steve McQueen’s Small Axe BBC drama series (available on iplayer at https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m000q6rf/small-axe-series-1-alex-wheatle) His latest novel for teenagers Cane Warriors is shortlisted for the Shrewsbury School Book Award 2021.
This was a moving and important talk. Alex talked openly about on his difficult upbringing in a care home, his troubled teenage years in Brixton and his arrest, aged 18 for his part in the 1981 Brixton uprising. Alex spoke about the power of books and education to challenge racism. Reading encourages empathy, he said and introduces other points of view, cultures and histories. It was the desire to highlight the history of his own ancestors that inspired his latest YA novel Cane Warriors which is inspired by a slave uprising in Jamaica in 1760. (Email firstname.lastname@example.org to borrow from the library, or click here to read the e-book) A recording of Alex’s talk will be available from Monday. I would encourage everyone to hear his powerful words.
Finally, Salopians were offered a free World Book Day book token so that they could choose a World Book Day book to enjoy. Book tokens can be downloaded from the library news page on firefly https://shrewsbury.fireflycloud.net/library/news-from-the-library)