Book Club Project

This project, funded by the Siobhan Dowd Trust, provides free books to schools in Greater Manchester and beyond.

The Book Club Project, funded by the Siobhan Dowd Trust, provides free books to schools in Greater Manchester and beyond. MCYS also organise book club discussion sessions in schools. We want to allow young people the time and space to discuss issues raised in the books, such as feminism, how young people make themselves heard, the environment and climate change. There’s a wide range of books on offer and lots of ideas to discuss.

So far, the schools involved include a selection of Manchester Pupil Referral Units from across the city; Turton High, St Catherine’s and Smithills School in Bolton; Our Lady’s in Blackley, Chorlton High School and Stockport High School; Hollingworth Academy and Lowerplace Primary School in Rochdale; and, further afield, Brighouse High School in Calderdale. 

The programme of events includes a dedicated book club session in each school, followed by further sessions facilitated by our trained ambassadors. Schools will then be invited to a celebration event in April at Manchester Metropolitan University, where young people can meet the authors and share their thoughts about the books.

The Siobhan Dowd trust provided £3600 to run the book clubs, with extra funding provided by Manchester Metropolitan’s Enhanced Third Term Project.

Links to Learning and Employability

Manchester Metropolitan students from across the Faculty of Arts and Humanities are involved in delivering and evaluating this project. Students receive training in facilitating and evaluating book clubs before running sessions in schools. In the summer, some of these students will roll-out the book club model to further schools in the region, acquiring vital project management skills, knowledge of teaching and learning methodology, and developing their communication toolkit. Students gain enhanced third term credits for their work on the project and boost their CVs with hands-on experience in education.

Project Ethos

The Youth Book Club Project aims to promote a love of reading among children and young adults aged 11 – 16. We support conversations around issues important to children and young adults in a safe environment outside the classroom. We want to help build young people’s confidence talking about their reading and encourage the use of library services within and outside schools. A further aspect of this project is to encourage school and youth librarians to develop more diverse collections of children’s and YA novels, so our suggested texts include works by authors such as Jason Reynolds, Candy Gourlay, Malorie Blackman, Jamila Gavin to name a few.

Future of the Project

Beyond the funding provided by Siobhan Dowd, the project has a future as part of Manchester Metropolitan’s Enhanced Third Term curriculum. It provides our students with opportunities to develop important skills that boost their employability whilst also enriching reading opportunities at local schools. At MCYS we are also excited by the book club model as a tool for co-producing research with young people. Our evaluations of this project will explore how we can develop the book club as a qualitative research methodology that allows young people to set the agenda on a range of social issues that affect them.

For more details, please contact Dr Chloé Germaine Buckley: