Books to read…

Here’s a random list of the books I’ve enjoyed reading, I could have listed a whole lot more…what are your lists?


Jeremy’s Fiction List – a few books I like

  1. The Third Policeman                         Flann O’Brien
  2. My Oedipus Complex                        Frank O’Connor
  3. Froth On A Daydream                       Boris Vian
  4. My Life In The Bush Of Ghosts       Amos Tutuola
  5. A Fairytale of New York                    JP Donleavy
  6. Norwegian Wood                               Murakami
  7. Short stories by                                  Borges, Saki, MR James,
  8. The Baron in the Trees                     Italo Calvino
  9. Goodbye to all That                           Robert Graves
  10. War memoirs by                                Spike Milligan
  11. Peter Pan                                            JM Barrie
  12. English Folk Tales                            Ed. Neil Philip
  13. The Norse Myths                              Ed. Kevin Crossley-Holland
  14. Macbeth/Hamlet/King Lear          William Shakespeare
  15. Dr Faustus                                         Christopher Marlowe
  16. Just William                                     Richmael Crompton
  17. The Summer Book                           Tove Jannson
  18. To Each His Own                             Leonardo Sciascia
  19. Slaughtherhouse 5                           Kurt Vonnegut
  20. Would You Please Be Quiet, Please?                                    Raymond Carver
  21. Tender is The Night                        Scott Fitzgerald
  22. The Member Of The Wedding      Carson McCullers
  23. Jane Eyre                                          Charlotte Bronte
  24. Breakfast At Tiffanys                      Truman Capote
  25. Rebecca                                              Daphne Du Maurier
  26. If This Is A Man/Periodic Table   Primo Levi

Something about play…

This was a bit of writing I did for a book by Blueboard, here in the UK, I think you get it on Amazon.  I’ll be writing more about this approach,  I’m very influenced by Keith Johnstone, Tony Parker, Augusto Boal and Vivian Paley.                                                       “Game playing is the best and quickest way we know to break down barriers of unfamiliarity. Kids understand this is the currency of fun and that there aren’t any set expectations.   There shouldn’t really be any time limit on this and in our experience the amount of fun they have at the outset of the project is in direct proportion to ones own enjoyment of the sessions and the success in terms of outcomes. Return to games throughout the project and encourage them to use the patterns of games in their ‘work’.                                                                                                                                                             For instance, if you play Elves, Wizards and Witches with a group of 4-5 year olds, you could return to that theme in an animation project or you could adapt the game to fit the needs of a nature project (caterpillars, stag beetles and leather jackets anyone?).

Similarly role-play games (where kids work in groups to put themselves in somebody else’s shoes) are a really great way to develop ideas with older kids. You might also find further inspiration in the way they play your games or maybe they can teach you some of their own playground games!


The reason we think games are important is that games=play and play is the most natural expression of a child’s creativity. The nearer we can get to making the project like play, the happier we are.  Once the kids know that the session is going to contain great games they relax and become more playful and then the ideas begin to come.


Interestingly it is at this stage that a new dynamic can be created and other adults present might notice a change in kids they’ve known for a while.


Recently while doing a Media Club for 7-11 year olds, a kid who was obviously considered a bit geeky by his classmates (he wore glasses so he deserved it), became a bit of a hero by suggesting that we all continue the session outside in the play area.

We did and he was right, it was a lot cooler, in both senses.


This approach relies on flexibility and a lot of faith. If you are going to allow the kids to lead the adventure you have to be prepared for some questioning behaviour and a bit of chaos.  We love this because every group is different and the lessons you learn are the thing that keeps you going….