Have you heard of the books on prescription service? The deliciously acronymed (and perhaps only acronymed inside my head thusly) BOPs are a great staple of the public library service in how they allow and enable people to discover literature that may prove of assistance at certain times in their lives.
The particular scheme I want to draw your attention to is the Reading Well scheme from the Reading Agency. It’s a relatively new scheme as far as I know, and the supporting material tells me that it’s being launched in 90% of English library authorities.
I’ve been really impressed with this scheme. The books that have been chosen for it are good. Genuinely so. It’s a really nice mixture between non-fiction and fiction, and some of the fiction titles are classy beasts. There’s House of Windows by Alexia Casale, and Kite Spirit by Sita Brahmachari, alongside things like Everyday by David Leviathan and The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky. You can read the full list of titles here and it’s well worth a browse.
I highlight this scheme both for the quality of the titles involved, but also for the vital necessity of such a scheme. I’ve often thought that the BOPs should have a teenage / children’s element, and I’m so pleased that that’s been recognised and done in such a good manner. One of the key things that’s made me happy is that the Reading Agency have actually involved young people in the decision making process. These aren’t books that have just been thrust didactically into the ether, and I welcome that immensely. (Give me good methodologies or give me a problematic end result, really!)
Bravo to everyone who is participating in this scheme. This is vital and important work, and it is well done.