Reading for Normal and the Reading4Normal Book Club
My research project 'Reading for Normal: Young People and Fiction in the Time of Covid-19' explored the benefits of a reading-for-pleasure scheme that brought young people from around the country together online. Reading for Normal highlighted the benefits of providing teen readers with a temporary digital community for talking about their own lives in relation to contemporary YA fiction. Findings will be published in 2023. I have also worked with schools to develop national Reading4Normal Book Clubs.
Lifelong Reading: New Stories
Remembering and rereading childhood books can provide the means for understanding identity over time. This project invited older adults living with dementia to explore their childhood reading in intimate discussion, and create new narratives in the form of ‘book boxes’. I worked with creative practitioners Gemma Seltzer and Wallis Eates, and the Holybourne Day Centre in Roehampton, and the result was an intense and exciting collaboration. We created a ‘Good Practice Guide’ and contributed to the Baring Foundation's Treasury of Arts Activities for Older People. I have written up the project and its methodology in a journal article ‘”Life goes through in a book”: a case study of a co-creative narrative enquiry involving older adults living with early-stage dementia’.
The International Journal of Young Adult Literature
I launched this journal in 2020, with the aim of showcasing new scholarship covering the theory, critical interpretation, literary history, and cultural production of young adult literature from all parts of the world. IJYAL acknowledges the growth of the field of YA and takes it seriously as a subject of literary enquiry. Areas covered include theoretical work, considerations of form, genre, theme or style, author studies, comparative analysis, explorations of reception and response, and publication histories.