It’s time to celebrate our partnership with Penguin Random House! It started with Random House in 2011 and has been going strong since the merger with Penguin to form PRH in 2013. We’re proud to be one of PRH’s Creative Responsibility partners and delighted to be working together.
Penguin Random House generously gives us sets of books for our reading groups throughout the year. Groups can choose from any of the publisher’s imprints or from the handout of suggested titles prepared by a PRG volunteer. Members pore over the descriptions and debate vigorously before the group vote. Choices are very varied, which shows just how individual each group is. Recent titles have included Yeonmi Parks’ In Order to Live, Lindsey Fitzharris’ The Butchering Art, Jo Nesbo’s Macbeth, Tom Hanks’ Uncommon Type and Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse 5. A terrific range by any standards.
Support for family reading in prison is an important part of PRG’s work with our parent charity Give a Book PRH provides a brilliant range of children’s books for the book bags we give to children when they come to visit a parent in prison. Feedback from both children and parents is heartening evidence of how much it means.
‘We all looked at the book as a family and helped each other out. We really enjoyed it’
‘My daddy did good voices’
And to be given a beautiful new book is a thrill:
‘My son loved that it was new and shiny’
Volunteers from PRH help us choose and pack the books for Family Days and their advice on popular and diverse titles has been invaluable. PRH staff also volunteer on the day, helping children and their parents choose a book and encouraging them to read it together.
‘I had a great time!’ (PRH volunteer)
PRG helped take PRH’s WriteNow to prisons last year. It’s a competitive mentoring programme for unpublished authors and there was a great response from aspiring prisoner writers. Here’s to even more applicants in 2019!
On World Book Day this year PRG groups hosted volunteers from PRH who came to lead the ‘Reverse Bookclub’ at several of our prisons. The event was for less experienced readers and involved listening and discussing the first few chapters of an audiobook version of The Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen, 83¼ Years Old, a World Book Night choice for 2017. Watch out for a blogpost account of how it went.