Spreading the joy of reading

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A Hebden Bridge bookshop is one of 69 independent stores to be awarded a grant by renowned American author James Patterson.

The Book Case, at Market Street, was awarded a £900 share of the £110,000 pot of money made available and has used it to take stories into schools across Calderdale.

Award-winning storyteller Ursula Holden-Gill has visited primary schools in the borough to run innovative workshops with pupils.

Kate Claughan, owner of the shop, said: “What we really wanted to think about was to get to kids who don’t come into the shop. That seemed to be the essence of what the money should be spent on and that’s why we wanted to go into schools.

“Ursula does workshops, group activities and storytelling to engage with the kids. We also want to revamp our children’s area over the next couple of weeks.”

It’s hoped the relaunch of the area will coincide with the Booksellers Association ‘Big Bookshop Parties’ on October 10. Any independent bookshop with a dedicated children’s book section was eligible for a grant of between £250 and £5,000 under the scheme.

Patterson said: “I have been completely overwhelmed by just how many independent bookshops have applied and yet again have been impressed and enthused by the calibre of the applications. It’s been very exciting to see the ideas from previous grant applications in action, with everything from a bedtime reading project to a refurbishment of children’s sections now underway.”