Singapore, 31 May 2012 – READ! Singapore initiative which will run from 15 June to 28 September 2012, aims to link people of different cultures and backgrounds with the theme, "Bridges". For the first time this year, the campaign is expanded to include young readers aged 7 to 14 years old, touching on relevant topics and issues that bridges the past, present and future.
Led by Mrs Elaine Ng, Chief Executive Officer of the National Library Board, the steering committee has selected an interesting array of international and local works. The specially-picked works represent Singapore's diverse cultural setting. Ms Meira Chand, Dr Chua Chee Lay, Dr Azhar Ibrahim and Mr R Rajaram, chairpersons of the English, Chinese, Malay and Tamil Book Selection Sub-Committees respectively, will introduce the selected literary works.
READ! Singapore 2012
The selection comprises eight novels, twelve short stories cross-translated and available in the four official languages. It includes four poems too. Internationally acclaimed books like “The Help” by Ms Kathryn Stockett and “The Housekeeper and the Professor” by Ms Yoko Ogawa, enable readers to appreciate, reflect and engage in discussions from different perspectives. These works will evoke reflections on bridging differences in cultures, generations, mindsets, social classes, geographical boundaries, traditions, and ethnicity. They allow people to connect with one another.
Selected Works for Young Readers
This year's initiative will include young readers and showcase popular folk tales, science fiction essays and illustrated novels. They are carefully selected to convey the theme of bridging the past, present and future. This engages the young to be interested and spur reflections and discussions.
There are four books in English – Chilli Padi by Adeline Foo and Where's Grandma by Edmund Lim, selected short stories from the book The Singing Top: Tales from Malaysia, Singapore, and Brunei which was retold and edited by Margaret Read MacDonald, and selected short stories from the book Science Chronicles by student writers Clarisa Madilao, Angela Leong Feng Ping, Rishabh Datta, Cheang Kit Lea. One story in each of the other three languages will be made available for young readers. These literary works will be used through storytelling sessions, craft activities, meet-the-author sessions and creative writing workshops. The activities will be held in the public libraries and schools.
Some of the authors and poets of the featured works including NLB's reading ambassador and popular media celebrity, Mr Edmund Chen, will also be available for one-to-one interviews at the media briefing held today.