It has been two years since Rebecca Mileham and our pupils created the Books for Breakfast club at Dashwood Banbury Academy. With all of their passion, enthusiasm and dedication, the club went from strength to strength over this time. A group set up for the enjoyment of literature, where pupils could discuss, explore and delve into books predominantly through fun activities. Sadly, Rebecca’s time with the club ended in July 2016 and the summer holidays came and went. At the start of this new academic year, Mujtaba, a former member of Books for Breakfast asked when the club would be starting again and who would be taking it over? It is because of the passion and enthusiasm of our pupils that Books for Breakfast continues; with some former members and some new recruits.
Our first session opened with a walk into Banbury Town to explore Waterstones. We enjoyed looking at the vast array of books, reading blurbs and sharing the books that interested us; creating a wish list of reads. We came away with copies of Christophe’s Story by Nicki Cornwell; a book that we feel is going to open up some very interesting discussion in our future sessions.
In the story, an 8 year old child from Rwanda describes how he and his mother and his brother have to run for their lives after the “soldiers” have taken his father away. Why? Christophe’s father, Andre, does not agree with the policies of the ruling regime; and therefore his life (and the lives of members of his family) is in danger.
At one level, this story lends itself to discussion about human rights, democracy, freedom of speech, and the reasons for which people become refugees. But there is another, more sinister thread to this story that lies in the specific history of Rwanda’s colonial past. So there is another whole area of discussion to enter into, about global relationships, economic and political history, and the making of history itself.