Boys’ book club’s such a hit the girls copy it!

BOOKWORMS Reading club members, from left, William Roberts, Holly Margetts, Shannon Workman and Lewis ''Morrissey.  Picture: Allan Hutchings (120560-771)
BOOKWORMS Reading club members, from left, William Roberts, Holly Margetts, Shannon Workman and Lewis ''Morrissey. Picture: Allan Hutchings (120560-771)
James Taylor at his desk in his office at 116 High Street, Old Portsmouth.

Those halcyon days when pen and paper just worked!

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IT IS often seen as the preserve of chatty females and older generations with time on their hands.

But boys at a primary school in Portsmouth have set up their own book club – proving they too love to read and share their ideas about literature.

Stamshaw Juniors’ Boys’ Book Club is the brainchild of year six pupils Lewis Morrissey and William Roberts.

And it has proved so popular their female peers have set up a Girls’ Book Club, with weekly gatherings where books are discussed and reviewed for school library users to reference.

Lewis, 11, said: ‘We all love our sports but there are a lot of boys who also enjoy reading.

‘We thought it would be a good idea to form a book club as it would motivate us to read more and open each other’s eyes to books we might like.’

He added: ‘I hope we’ve started something that will inspire generations of boys.’

The 14-strong club is now so in demand the boys will be launching splinter groups next term.

William, 10, said: ‘What’s great about the book club is that it has attracted boys of all ages and reading abilities, who bring lots of different ideas to the table.

‘We’re reading more books than ever before!’

Holly Margetts, 10, co-founder of the girls’ club, added: ‘It’s a great idea and we owe a big thanks to the boys.

‘The best part for me is writing up reviews – sharing the books with other pupils.’

Stamshaw is one of several schools that have signed up to The News’ literacy campaign Read All About It to boost reading across the area.

Teachers make literacy a priority, with daily readings from set classroom books, the use of films to engage youngsters in literature, and encouraging pupils to have two books on the go – one recommended and one of their choice.

While many schools struggle to narrow the gap between boys and girls in the reading department, 11-year-old boys at Stamshaw are only three per cent behind girls.

Headteacher Simon Cattermole said: ‘We don’t acknowledge there should be a gap between boys and girls as that would set us up for a fall – and there isn’t.

‘There’s a perception boys don’t read but our pupils are doing a great job of challenging that. I’m proud of them.’

For details on how to join The News campaign visit portsmouth.co.uk/news/campaigns/read-all-about-it.

Or email aline.nassif@thenews.co.uk.