April newsletter

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Reading Ideas

Book of the Month

Book jacket image of Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan

Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan

The country is at war and Anna’s father has disappeared; was he murdered? Years ago, aged 12, she was with him at a secret meeting with a man named Styles. Can he help her understand what has happened and why? Manhattan Beach is set in and around Brooklyn Naval Yard during the 1940’s, a tough environment of sailors, union men and gangsters, this story explores a period where due to war, women are in jobs traditionally held by men.


Best of the Prizes

Pick of the shortlists image

It’s always great to get a book recommendation, and a book awards shortlist is the perfect place to get the best books in one place. Our Pick of the Shortlists is from a variety of literature prizes – they really are the best of the best!


April Showers

April showers image

Whatever the weather, a book is the perfect companion! It goes wonderfully well with wellies and splendidly with time spent in the sun. We’ve collected the best books with weather in their tales for our latest children’s booklist.


Happy Birthday Essex Book Festival!

Essex Book Festival Logo

Essex Book Festival is 20 years old this year and we’ve celebrated with some fantastic events in libraries across the county. From debut and local authors to international bestsellers, there’s been something for everyone and we’d like to thank our customers, book group members, volunteers and partners for supporting another successful festival. Highlights included The Ravenmaster of the Tower of London, Rossi’s ice cream and Indian snacks to accompany Patricia Volante at Canvey Island and Vaseem Khan at Halstead, and free books for book group members together with the usual mix of history, mystery and murder!

If you would like more information on Essex Book Festival events, visit their website essexbookfestival.org.uk


Fantastic Volunteering Opportunity

Space Chase illustrated logo

We’re looking for volunteers to help us run the annual Summer Reading Challenge, a fun activity that takes place through the summer break to encourage children to keep reading during the holidays. This year’s theme is Space Chase and it promises to be a blast! So, if you, or someone you know, is looking for something interesting and fun to do over the summer, this is the perfect opportunity!

Visit our website to find out more and to apply online.


COBRA - Complete Business Reference Adviser

COBRA logo

Are you in business or thinking about setting one up? To ensure you’re following the correct rules and regulations, COBRA can help with a wide range of business information factsheets; everything from employment law, intellectual property to National Insurance and Health & Safety. You just need your library card number to access this wealth of information. COBRA is just one of many reference materials available on our website.


World Book Night

World Book Night logo

On 23 April, World Book Night takes place.

It’s a national celebration of reading and books run by The Reading Agency who invite you to take part. The World Book Night website has some great ideas about how you can get involved, but it could be as simple as sorting through your own books at home to gift to other people and charities, or hosting a book swap at work.

This is your opportunity to share the joy of reading!


Bookstart Packs

Image of Bookstart pack for pre-school children

Do you have a pre-school child? Make sure you’ve received your free Bookstart packs!

By the time your child is a year old, you should’ve been given a Baby Pack (probably by your health visitor), but from April, these will be given out by Registration Officers when you register your baby’s birth. The pack contains two lovely board books, book sharing tips and recommended titles for babies – everything you need to start to develop your child’s love of reading and language skills whilst sharing a cuddle.

Image of Bookstart Treasure pack for children about to start school

By the time your child is about to go to school, you should also have been given a Treasure Pack (probably by a pre-school setting such as a playgroup or nursery, or by a childminder). This contains a picture book and a parent’s guide to having fun with books.

Additional resources are also available:

Booktouch – for visually impaired children (Baby and Treasure versions)
Bookshine – for deaf/hearing impaired children (Baby and Treasure versions)
Bookstart Star – for children with disabilities which impact on their fine motor skills
Dual Language – picture books in a range of languages.

If you haven’t received the Baby or the Treasure Pack, or need any of the additional resources, please ask at any Essex library.


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