One Liberties, One Book 2011
For me the last few weeks have been a whirlwind of intensive school, library visits and other events. I have been very caught up recently with One Liberties, One Book, a literacy project planned and organised by a hardworking team of Home School Liaison Teachers led by Terry Keogh of Warrenmount School.
Students from twelve local primary and secondary schools, along with parents, teachers and book groups, were all reading my most recent historical novel, 17 Martin Street, set in nearby Portobello, Dublin in the 1940s. The story of a Jewish and a Catholic family living next door to each other, and a 17-year-old illegal refugee from Nazi Germany on the run in Dublin, is based closely on fact.
The memorable project launch in the heart of the Liberties included an Irish band playing Klezmer (Jewish soul music)!
Later, as everyone started reading the book, I met parents in Kevin Street Library, and welcomed school groups to the Irish Jewish Museum close by.
Activities and discussions included a walking tour of the area with Pat Liddy, excellent students art work, finding out about Jewish religion and culture and about Ireland during the ‘Emergency’ (World War 2).
The project concluded with a hectic one day Whistle Stop Tour, which created a great buzz. I visited each school for a half-hour of questions, chat and book-signing – then on to the next school!
Together with earlier exciting One Book projects in Ballymun (who chose my earlier book, Faraway Home) and Inchicore, this was a most meaningful involvement for me, and for all concerned, in the encouragement of young peoples’ reading – and it was also great fun for all of us!