Youths Recommend Books for Kids in READ! Singapore 2013

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Our young took centrestage at the unveiling of Read! Singapore 2013, a national reading programme, on 7 June 2013. A Youth Book Selection Committee, comprising 25 students aged 15 and above, came up with a reading list of 24 selected titles in the four official languages for younger kids aged seven to 14.

The selection of books by youths is a first since the launch of the programme in May 2005.

Said Mrs Elaine Ng, Chief Executive Officer of National Library Board, “We want to encourage more children and youths to pick up titles that appeal to them. By getting someone nearer their own age to recommend interesting books, we hope this can inspire and spark a love for reading among the young.”

S1 Youths

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Books selected by the Committee include local author Ann Peters’ Farrer Park: Rhyming Verses from a Singapore Childhood, The Starry Starry Night, an illustrated book by Jimmy Liao, Giant in the Closet and Other Tales, by Hirman Mohamed Khamis, Sinbad’s Adventures by Ishimrithi Ram, as well as a collection of three Asian folktales, among other titles.  Books will be available at all 25 public libraries.

See our other story, Good Reads by Students for Students, for a full list of READ! Singapore 2013’s selected titles for younger readers.

Activities Throughout The Yearlong Programme

Besides this new focus on young readers, Read! Singapore 2013 returned this year with a new format. From its previous three-month duration, the programme has been extended to a yearlong effort with new activities lined-up.  You can look out for:

  • A new pop-up library in July;
  • Kids’ Lit Quiz, an international literature competition for children aged 10 to 13, debuting in Singapore in October;
  • Meet-the-author sessions with Chinese writers Chiu Chao-Yu (30 June – 5 July) and Lee Hui Hui (16 – 20 July), and American children’s author Rob Cleveland (18 – 20 July); and
  • Reading carnivals, interactive workshops and competitions that encourage creative expression in all its various forms.

Members of the Youth Book Selection Committee will also be conducting workshops and book reviews at schools and video-taped versions of the reviews will be made available at National Library Board’s YouTube channel. The music video featuring Joakim Gomez and children singing the theme song, I’m Gonna Read A Book Today, will also be available at the same channel.


Theme of Read! Singapore 2013: ‘Under One Sky’

This year’s theme of ‘Under One Sky’ highlights the bonds between people of different cultures, societies and generations, through 12 selected short stories and four poems.

The selected works are published as anthologies in all four official languages and will be made available at all 25 public libraries.

Read! Singapore 2013 features a recommended author in each language for readers to explore each author’s body of works. The recommended authors are award-winning Malaysian writer Abdul Latip bin Talib, American novelist Ann Patchett, veteran local writer and poet Professor Wong Yoon Wah, and noted Tamil and Malayam writer and critic Jeyamohan.

Dr Yaacob Ibrahim, Minister for Communications and Information, launched Read! Singapore 2013 at Jurong Regional Library.

Read! Singapore is a nationwide effort to raise awareness of local literary works in the four official languages, and cultivate community bonding through book discussions and other events in public spaces and heartlands across Singapore. More information on Read! Singapore can be found at

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