Island Read 2007 was the biggest
mass-reading initiative that has ever taken place in Britain.
It ran from 11 January to 31 March 2007. It brought together
the pre-existing annual reading projects The
Great Reading Adventure (Bristol
and the South West) and Liverpool
Reads, and partners from Aye
Write! Bank of Scotland Book Festival
in Glasgow and Hull
Everyone in the areas covered by
the project was encouraged to read Andrea Levy’s
award-winning novel Small Island.
2007 marks the 200th anniversary of the passing
of the Slave Trade Abolition Bill and Small
Island Read 2007 was part of a wider
national initiative commemorating the ending of the trade and
exploring slavery’s continuing influence upon multicultural
Britain. The novel Small Island was
chosen not only because it is an entertaining and enjoyable
read but also because it provides an insight into the initial
post-war contact between Jamaican migrants, descendants of enslaved
Africans, and the white ‘Mother Country’.
Thousands of copies of Small
Island were available
for loan from branches of libraries in the participating local
authorities (see Libraries above).
Some free copies of the book and its accompanying readers’ guide
could also be obtained while stocks lasted from selected sites.
Books for younger and emergent readers that address
similar themes were also used as part of the project (see
On this website you can download a copy of
the readers’ guide
which will tell you about Andrea Levy and her work, the slave
trade and post-war migration. Further background information
can be found by following the links in the side bar. In addition,
this site provides calendars of events and news of all the activities
that took place as part of Small Island
Read 2007, as well
as downloadable copies of the education material that has been
A full evaluation report will be available to download here by
the end of May 2007.
Some of the documents on this site are in PDF format
and require Adobe Reader. Download it here.
Word versions are also available, which are compatible with the
RNIB-approved JAWS system and which can be reformatted in a font
to suit the individual reader.