Sunderland to host Northern Children’s Book Festival finale

Grangetown Primary School Year 2 pupil Shauna Gair during one of last year's book festival events in Sunderland.
Grangetown Primary School Year 2 pupil Shauna Gair during one of last year's book festival events in Sunderland.
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BOOKWORMS on Wearside are looking forward to hosting the finale of one of the biggest cultural events of its kind for young people.

Sunderland has been picked as the venue of choice to conclude the Northern Children’s Book Festival when it returns this year.

The event will be held on November 22 at Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens and the neighbouring City Library and Arts Centre.

Last year the gala day was held at Woodhorn Museum in Northumberland, after 13,000 children took part in two weeks of activities in libraries, schools and community centres across the North East.

The 31st festival is supported by publishers and some of the best-known children’s writers and illustrators.

“We are delighted to be able to bring the gala day to Sunderland this year,” festival chairman Janice Hall said. “It seems a long way off, but organising the festival and booking and scheduling dozens of writers is a major and time-consuming exercise.

“It combines the resources and expertise available throughout the library services network and the critical mass makes it possible to bring authors into the region at an affordable price.

“The co-ordinated and strategic offer to publishers is extremely positive, providing them with the opportunity to effectively promote the work of their key children’s authors.” The festival began in 1983 as part of the Newcastle Literary Festival – a three-day event involving 16 children’s authors. Last year more than 30 took part during the fortnight.

Helen Green, of youth arts origination Bridge North East, added: “The Northern Children’s Book Festival is one of our jewels in the crown and needs to be cherished. For more than a quarter of a century it has helped bring to life the magic of reading and story-telling for hundreds of thousands of children.

“For many of them the festival might provide the best opportunity to meet their favourite author.

“It is vital that events like this in the North East continue to be supported. They add so much to the cultural lives of our young people.”

The festival runs from 10 November until November 22.