The lack of social interaction has made lockdown hard for all students: they miss classroom conversations and football on the astroturf, and boredom levels have been high.
One of the best distractions has been reading and discussing books: I’ve supervised an online ‘Talking Books’ group for Shells, and Ben Wharton, Charlie Shay and Will Thomas have led similar groups for Rems, UMs and Fourths. We’ve all been pleased to see how much the boys in these groups have been recommending books to each other, and passionately conversing about their favourite parts.
I’ve been impressed by the books my Shells group have been reading. These have included The Hunger Games, The Lord of the Rings and The Underland Chronicles; and we have had particularly engaging discussions about Operation Kind by Zanib Mian and Skysteppers by Katherine Rundell. Hopefully, the boys in my online club won’t stop reading and recommending books when we are back in the classroom.
The World Book Day theme this year was to share a story, and this is exactly what the boys in Talking Books and the other online groups have been doing. Our reading together has been inspiring, and we’ve all learnt something new about ourselves and the world around us. Here are some thoughts from a few boys in the Shells Talking Books group.
Krish: “Talking Books was a great club. I really enjoyed listening to the recommendations the other boys gave, and I started to read The Diary of Anne Frank and In Cold Blood. If there was a club rating system, I would award it 10/10: Tom and Mrs Stokes have done a brilliant job. Thank you!!”
Hari: “Talking Books has been a great opportunity to share my views, thoughts and opinions on a range of books. I have enjoyed listening to other boys’ perspectives on the same book. Reading has been something I have been able to do during lockdown!”
Ethan: “I liked the club because I discovered some good books from different genres: it introduced me to a wider variety of new books which boys of my age enjoyed.”
Raafey: “I enjoyed telling other boys about the books I’d been reading – especially the Adventures on Trains series and every book written by Stewart Foster. You should try them!”