Creative Bristol logo The Great Reading Adventure. Let's read it together. Helen Dunmore and The Siege.
Download Readers' Guide Registration Contact Acknowledgements Copyright
Home BristolŠs annual Great Reading Adventure is a highlight of the city's cultural calendar. Each year, from January to March, everyone in the city is encouraged to read the same book at the same time.
Helen Dunmore
The Siege
The Soviet Union at War

Thousands of copies of the selected book are available to borrow from libraries and are distributed to schools, colleges, reading groups, businesses and members of the public. High quality support material is produced, an exciting programme of activities is organised and the project receives extensive coverage in the local media.

Although each year’s book is different, the mission of the Great Reading Adventure remains the same: to bring communities together through the power of literature, and to encourage more reading and writing by the widest range of people in Bristol.

In 2003, we shared an adventure on the high seas with Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island; in 2004 we were terrified by John Wyndham’s The Day of the Triffids; and now in 2005, we turn to a haunting story about the suffering and survival of ordinary people in time of war with Helen Dunmore’s The Siege.

Copies of The Siege are available for loan from all branches of the Bristol Library Service. And, in addition, Creative Bristol has 2,000 copies to give away: register at the link above for a chance of receiving one. We are also distributing copies of the illustrated readers’ guide free of charge.

On this website you can download a copy of the guide which will tell you about Helen Dunmore and her work, provide background material on Leningrad and the Bristol Blitz, and suggest questions to think about while you read the book. Additional background information can be found by following the links in the side bar. This site also provides news of all the activities that are taking place over the next two months including film screenings, talks, workshops, competitions and other events, as well as copies of the education material that has been produced. We are keen to receive feedback from readers on what they think of the book and to hear of their own wartime experiences, and will post a selection of the comments we receive on the Reader Contributions page.

We hope you will enjoy taking part in the 2005 Great Reading Adventure.

Some of the documents on this site are in PDF format and require Adobe Reader. Download Adobe Acrobat reader here. Word versions are also available.

You can find out more about previous Great Reading
Adventures by following the links below:

Treasure Island 2003 Archived Website
The Day of the Triffids 2004 Archived Website

PDFs of each year's evaluation report are on the 2004 site.
Word versions are available here:

Helen Dunmore's 'The Siege' front cover.
Bristol at War
Reader Contributions
Events and Competitions
Bibliography and Resources
Latest News
All the books and guides for the Great Reading Adventure have now been sent out. The project officially ended on World Book Day (3 March) but we will continue to welcome your comments on the book and your wartime stories.
Download Treasure Island Evaluation Report Word Document
Download Treasure Island Evaluation Report Word Document