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2014 saw Huddersfield New College Library participating in the Reading Agency’s nationwide literacy scheme ‘Six Book Challenge’. It is a scheme that is available to be hosted in not just colleges/sixth forms but also workplaces, prison libraries and public libraries across the country each year. The challenge wasn’t just restricted to reading just books; it also allows readers to read and review eBooks, non-fiction, magazines, newspapers, even graphic novels.

Students registered to take part, being assigned their own Reading Diary where they had to review up to six items that they read after registering. To keep the Challenge firmly in focus, a £10 Waterstones Gift Card was awarded to the best review every fortnight. As well as offering incentives throughout the Challenge, there were eight (!) prizes for those who completed the challenge by the deadline of June 13th, including a Kindle Paperwhite!

To further support the participating students, HNC staff also took part in the challenge. They were, Principal, Angela Williams, Lee Speight (Sports), Rachel McIntyre (English), David Cochrane (Science), Gary Eastwood (Media and Film) and Carol Mitchell (Student Support). To thank them for their participation, they were awarded Best Female (Carol) and Best Male (Gary) prizes.

All staff and students who completed the Challenge received an official Six Book Challenge certificate, signed by the Challenge Ambassador, author Martina Cole. These were presented, at HNC’s inaugural Rewards and Recognition Ceremony, by Angela Williams, the college Principal.

The 1st Place winners all received a special congratulations card, a literary gift, bookmarks and Six Book Challenge pens. All those who completed the Challenge also received a special review collection of the 73 fiction and non-fiction titles that they had read during the challenge.

You can read all their book reviews via HNC Library’s Goodreads shelf online.

Student, Ryan Hutton, said “Thank you for opening this opportunity for me to practice my reviewing skills and read books at a potentially faster pace than I would have around exam time if the competition was not open. I hope that you run the competition next year (even if it is not a national thing), because I know that I really enjoyed it and I think some of the new lower six will find the same enjoyment that I have! It has left me wanting to enter competitions held by the library at university.”

Carol Mitchell, who won the Best Female Staff Reader prize, said “I enjoyed the fact I could let other people know what I have read. I love books and if I can encourage just one person to pick up a book by doing this Challenge it will be a great achievement.”

College Librarian, Rebecca Wilson, said “I am genuinely and immensely proud of all 14 students and 6 staff who have completed the Challenge in our first ever year of hosting it at HNC.

“I am already making plans to make the Six Book Challenge 2015 bigger, better and for longer over the 2014/2015 academic year. I know several of this year’s Challenge completers have already openly expressed a wish to join in again.”

The winners for all categories can be found below.

Best Female Staff Reader – Carol Mitchell (Student Support)

Best Male Staff Reader – Gary Eastwood (Media and Film)

Best Fiction Review:

1st Place – Lucy Storrie ‘It’s Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini

2nd Place – Laura Ellis ‘Divergent by Veronica Roth’

3rd Place – Sophie Burgess Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman’

Best Non-fiction Review:

1st Place – Zaenab Younus ‘Philosophy and Cabbage by Eric Fergusson’

2nd Place – Laura Ellis ‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire Illustrated Movie Companion’

3rd Place – Cameron Stott ‘What Men Do: a Guy’s Guide to becoming a Hero’

Best Biography Review:

1st Place – Ellie Armstrong ‘A Street Cat Named Bob by James Bowen’

2nd Place – Aimee-Jo Holdsworth ‘Slash by Anthony Bozza’

3rd Place – Cameron Stott ‘Life and Laughing by Michael McIntyre’

Best Graphic Novel Review:

1st Place – Ryan Hutton ‘Scott Pilgrim’

2nd Place – Ellie Armstrong ‘Kuroko’s Basketball’

3rd Place – Zaenab Younus ‘Avril Lavigne’s Make Five Wishes’

Best Article Review:

1st Place – Aimee-Jo Holdsworth ‘Director’s Cut, Empire Magazine’

2nd Place – Cameron Stott ‘Planet of the Apes, Empire Magazine’

3rd Place – Zaenab YounusThe Day the Movies Died article’

Best eBook Review:

1st Place – Zaenab Younus ‘James Potter and the Hall of Elders Crossing by G Norman Lippert’

2nd Place – Colette Reeves ‘The Assassins Curse by Cassandra Clarke’

Completer Prize Award:

1st Place – Hannah Duell

2nd Place – Laura Ellis

3rd Place – Zaenab Younus

Prize Draw Winner for the Kindle Paperwhite:

Sophie Burgess

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