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Introducing Book Club...

Introducing Book Club...

I have always found solace in books, but I understand it doesn't come naturally to everyone.

In our family of four, my 10-year-old son Huw and I are the bookworms. You have to prise a good book from our fingers to get us to focus on anything else. My husband Tim and our youngest son Gryff are different kettles of fish though. They're like coiled springs and Eveready batteries, always ready to go and always on the move. While reading hasn't been an intrinsic part of their lives, they've recently found their own pathways into the world of storytelling and literature.

Tim loves dadding it (we could rent him out as children's entertainment), and as part of his journey through parenthood, he realized the importance of sharing in Huw's reading experiences. So, he started reading Huw's books, keeping one book ahead (which has kept him on his toes, considering Huw's avid reading speed) so he can discuss the books with him. Their favourites right now? The Alex Rider series – they love them!

Huw has gained so much from his relationship with literature. He'll find a conversation starter with anyone he’s just met and constantly surprises us with facts that I didn’t even realise were facts : )

Most significantly, he recently self-diagnosed himself with ADHD after reading about a character who shared similar personality traits. This took the pressure off Tim and I as this was a conversation we were working up to along with his teachers.  We're confident that Huw has a healthy understanding of himself, his learning styles and his (amazing) strengths.

Meanwhile, Gryff has been struggling with his emotions a lot of late. I’m not going to lie, it’s been tough but one thing that has helped at bedtime is audio books. Starting with David Walliams' series "The World's Worst Parents, Teachers, Pets...," Gryff has now gravitated to the Alex Rider series on audio and he tells us how it helps him quieten the thoughts that keep him awake and he really engages with the content (of course he does it's about a spy-ninja James bond character in a 14 year old's body...)

As a child of the 80s who recorded the top 40 onto tapes on Sunday nights, spent hours daydreaming out the window on car journeys, and fell asleep with a book on my head I do find it really challenging navigating the world today, so full of distraction, change and overwhelming global and domestic news. It’s a struggle to regulate myself these days, so what’s it like for our kids who never experience that slower pace of life? It's a tough gig for kids, parents and adults alike! We’ll never force them to read but we will help them find ways to access slower moments in ways that suit them to help them find some quiet in all of this noise.

With all of this in mind, I dreamt up book club. To remind us all that putting our slippers on and picking up a book with a cuppa is important food for our souls (even if just me in the club I'm ok with that : )

So, without further ado, one book we’ve all enjoyed as a family is “Ajay and the Mumbai Sun” by Varsha Shah. That's what we'll be kicking off our new Book Club with soon so watch this space.

Even better, we’d love you to get involved. Every month, we‘ll introduce a new book and review it a few weeks later. Do send us your book / audio book suggestions and if you’ve read one of our featured reads – let us know what you thought!

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