Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Goldfish with Machine Guns: A Talk with the Liberators at Cranleigh Library

To Cranleigh,  for a reading group at the well-stocked and inviting library, where I was very warmly welcomed and given cake (which is a Very Good Thing.) We discussed bits of The Liberators and The Other Book, and also wider aspects of writing in general. It was interesting to hear what the children (aged between 11 and 12) were reading: a lot of Hunger Games and Twilight. I went round the room to discover what would be in the ideal book, and this is what they came up with:

A haunted house. A squirrel. A goldfish with a machine gun. Alien dinosaurs with jet packs. A magic mirror opening onto another world. A mystery. A flying pig called Gordon. A giant dog-eating ant. And a man-eating cake.
So if you could put all those together into a book, you'd be rich. (Possibly.)

It was a fun afternoon: an enormous thank you the the staff of the library, and to the reading group themselves - who have chosen to call themselves The Liberators, which is an accolade a man can hardly dream of. (Liber, of course, meaning book in Latin, as well as free. And of course liberi means children.)

It's a powerful argument for keeping libraries going - providing a place for children to get together and read and talk about books, and to come across things that they wouldn't necessarily have done. All power to the Liberators of Cranleigh

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