News: Alexandra Palace’s Children’s Literature Festival Bibliobuzz moves Online for 2020

Alexandra Park and Palace Charitable Trust has joined forces with Waterstones Children’s Laureate Cressida Cowell and six celebrated children’s authors: Aisha Bushby, Kirsty Applebaum, Helen Peters, Rebecca Westcott, Stewart Foster and Thomas Taylor  to deliver the finale of the annual Bibliobuzz reading initiative online from 4 – 15 May.

Since January, hundreds of young people aged nine to twelve have taken part in Bibliobuzz, the annual literature programme from Alexandra Palace, Haringey Libraries and Haringey School Librarians, which is now in its seventh year. Young readers were challenged to complete six selected books before voting for their favourite. As part of the initiative they were also offered the opportunity to attend workshops and reading group sessions, win prizes and competitions as well as meet famous authors of some of their favourite books.

Originally due to take place at the end of March, the Bibliobuzz weekend festival was postponed due to the closure of Alexandra Palace during the current Covid-19 pandemic. It will now take place online from 4 – 15 May. The digital festival will see the authors involved give selected online readings from their much-loved stories and set creative challenges for the young readers to complete.

Culminating on 15 May, Cressida Cowell, Waterstones Children’s Laureate and Bibliobuzz ambassador, will bring this year’s challenge to a close with the announcement of the winners of the Alexandra Palace Children’s Book Awards, as voted for by the young participants.

This year’s shortlisted titles were:

  • A Pocketful of Stars by Aisha Bushby
  • The Middler by Kirsty Applebaum
  • Anna at War by Helen Peters
  • Can You See Me? by Libby Scott and Rebecca Westcott
  • Check Mates by Stewart Foster
  • Malamander by Thomas Taylor

Cressida Cowell, Waterstones Children’s Laureate and Bibliobuzz ambassador, said: “In these extraordinary and difficult times, children need the magic of books and reading more than ever. With schools and libraries currently closed, initiatives such as Alexandra Palace’s Bibliobuzz are incredibly important in providing children with much-needed space and encouragement to be creative, discover new books, and experience the joy of reading. I’m thrilled to be involved.”

Louise Stewart, Alexandra Park and Palace Charitable Trust chief executive added: “Ally Pally may be closed but we are still delivering our charitable purposes, not only looking after the Park and Palace but continuing our Learning and Community programmes where we can. We are really excited to be able to continue Bibliobuzz, a pillar of our Creative Learning programme. We wanted to make sure there was a finale to enjoy for everyone who has taken part and an opportunity to see and learn with such inspiring authors.”

For more information about Bibliobuzz visit www.alexandrapalace.com/

Photo credit: Lloyd Winters 

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