Sunday 17 November 2019

Local author chosen in 'Battle of the book'

The launch of the Battle of the Book at Swords Castle
The launch of the Battle of the Book at Swords Castle

An historical novel for children with a story set against the background of the Great War has been chosen to feature in Fingal County Council's 'Battle of the Book', this year.

Local author, Rod Smith is the chosen author and he was at Swords Castle last week to launch the initiative along with officials from Fingal Libraries, and representatives of sponsors, Dublin Airport and publishers, Poolbeg as well as some avid readers from one of the participating schools, St Marnock's in Portmarnock.

The Battle of the Book is a reading Programme running from October 2019 until March 2020 between Fingal Libraries and primary schools within the Fingal area.

The programme is designed to encourage children to read, gain confidence and to discuss a common book, providing a shared experience of reading which will encourage reading for life.

Speaking about the programme Mayor of Fingal, Cllr Eoghan O'Brien said: 'The Battle of the Book programme is a great way to encourage children not only to read but to interact with one another to discuss the book's themes and hear each other's insights. I am delighted to see it return this year.'

Finn Morrissey and Chelsea Camerino from St Marnocks NS were delighted to be the first ones to get their hands on the new book which was fresh off the printing presses, last week.

Soon, they will be joined by fellow pupils at St Marnock's along with the other participating schools in the Battle of the Books, which this year are Mary Queen of Ireland NS, St Helens NS, Portmarnock, St Laurence's NS, Baldoyle and St Margaret's NS. The children will be participating in different activities organised by Fingal Libraries surrounding the themes presented in the book.

The programme will culminate in a 'battle' to be held early in 2020 in the Riasc Centre where the young readers will be quizzed on the book and its subject matter.

Rod, along with an expert historian will visit all the schools over the next few months and it is something the Malahide author is looking forward to.

The children's author is a regular visitor to schools where he can get some direct feedback from his readers and it is an aspect of his work he truly loves.

He says 'I love it. The children are genuinely interested and enthusiastic when an author goes to visit them.'

Rod has a long relationship with Fingal Libraries and was delighted when they chose his book to feature in this year's Battle of the Book. Fingal Libraries were so confident in the book that they made their choice based on an unpublished manuscript of the book.

As for the school children participating - it's time to get reading.

Fingal Independent