At this week’s second event, Tamarind set up shop in the Centre for Literacy in Primary Education, Southwark. We sold 101 books to educators, local parents and trainee teachers who come to the centre each year to find resources that make every child feel included. Comments from attendees show how hard it still is for them to find quality multicultural resources in mainstream bookshops.
This year London Mayor Boris Johnson cut funding for Black History Month from £132,000 to £10,000. Consequently, various multicultural events and festivals are feeling the pinch or closing down. Despite these cuts, Croydon Council’s annual Multicultural Resources Fair expanded this year, filling a meeting suite at the local Hilton hotel and attracting exhibitors such as Oxford University Press, Hodder and Tamarind. This year’s event was rebranded as an Inclusive Resources Fair, reflecting the broader range of products and services.
Although many teachers had tighter book budgets, Tamarind’s timely overstock sale went down a storm. Local teachers bought 389 books, giving Croydon schools fantastic resources for BHM and a truly integrated library all year round.
Just yards away from where George Michael ‘whammed’ into a wall in his jeep, Tamarind launched its first novel. Author Ken Howard’s local Waterstone’s on Hampstead High Street hosted the event, with posters displayed in the windows and 70 books ordered for sale and signing. The beautiful upstairs space was opened up and librarians, booksellers, supporters and friends gathered to celebrate The Young Chieftain.
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From Ken Howard’s blog piece ‘Launched‘:
“Verna Wilkins, spoke movingly about her 23 year struggle to provide books for a multicultural society and quoted a glowing commendation for the imprint from Children’s Laureate, Michael Rosen. Commissioning Editor Patsy Isles brought the company up to date with its first fiction title – The Young Chieftain – and I told the story of how it had originally been conceived as a movie with the giant Disney Corporation…
Suddenly it felt like the book was really published and my Young Chieftain was setting out, hopefully to survive and prosper in a tough world.”
All the books sold out that evening, and The Young Chieftain remains among the Top 10 bestsellers in the shop. Thanks to all the staff at Waterstone’s Hampstead, to Adam, Boji and Daniel for their superb reading, to Jonathan Ricks for the photographs and to everyone who made this a warm and inspiring event.
A rollicking rhyme of avid appreciation for tireless and terrific teachers!
We were delighted when, further to her charming review of The Young Chieftain, book blogger Tricia conducted an incisive interview with its author, Ken Howard. How did Ken conjure up his teen hero, Jamie MacDoran? Does he envisage ‘Young Chieftain tours’ of the Scottish Isles? Find out on Tricia’s blog, Black Book News.