A few months ago I was approached by Filomena Tuivanualevu, a committee member for Marama Alliance UK (MAUK), they are a not for profit which is run by Fijian women in the UK to help those in their community to integrate better into life in the UK.
I was tasked with running bookclub for junior members of my community in the Fijian diaspora, there was sign up page on MAUK which was enthusiastically signed up by parents for their kids. Though it is a small group due to Reading Force rules, the charity that sponsors the bookclub it does not take away the impact it has had.
Onto our first meeting which happened not long after, all the members attended and we were joined by Judith Burke, who is Reading Force’s Book Club Ambassador who coordinates with publishing houses on the three books we voted to read from many array of choices that were provided. This was done through a poll for the kids and their parents where the most popular choice was selected.
So far it has been an eye opening and awe inspiring experience to hear and talk to these youngsters about their thoughts on the book they have just read, Amari and the Night Brothers by B.B Alston where the children are encouraged to draw, write or talk freely about the book with its many colourful characters. The kids have so far done a review of the book, written a poem about the book’s main character, Amari and have also drawn their favourite characters.
The children were able to participate and share their work within our small group, there was some hesitations in our first meetings but soon the children settled into sharing their work with conviction. This encouraged participation in the meetings that followed.
We are in the process of reading our second book and as coordinator of this book club, I am very proud of our small group and we will be sharing our journey with you in the months to come. By the way, Amari and the Night Brothers, comes highly recommended by the book club members so you can look it up in your local library, you will not be disappointed! That’s a guarantee from me to you.