CHILDREN from a trio of secondary schools shared the love of a good book last week when they took part in a special event.

The annual Riveting Read event came to an end with a special gathering on Thursday(July2), when pupils from Dorcan Academy, Kingsdown School and Highworth Warneford met at Warneford to discuss the merits of five different books they had been challenged to read.

The event, which saw pupils reading a variety of different books from different authors in different genres, celebrated reading and the benefits it has educationally and emotionally.

And Deb Tremblin, Highworth Warneford's library manager, said it was a huge success among pupils.

"The atmosphere was buzzing at the Riveting Read event," she said.

"Students who were complete strangers at 1pm, were passionately discussing the plot and characters of the books by 1.30pm.

"One of our aims is to encourage students to read books from genres they normally wouldn't choose.

"Besides developing the imagination, reading a good book can be relaxing therapy, and has proven to reduce anxiety.

"As Neil Gaiman, author and screenwriter has said, 'a book is a little empathy machine. It puts you inside somebody else’s head. You see the world through someone else’s eyes'. I couldn't agree more."

Chosen by librarians at participating schools, the youngsters each read Salvage by Keren David, Hello Darkness by Anthony McGowan, Rain by Virginia Bergin, Half Bad by Sally Green and Running Girl by Simon Mason, before coming together to vote on their favourite.

The winner was Running Girl, a murder mystery.

Daniel Scott, a pupil from Highworth Warneford, said he enjoyed taking part in the readathon.

"It was great. I had a awesome time and it was very interesting to hear the views of other young people, across Swindon,” he said.

Ellie Belcher, also from Warneford, said: “It was good to meet people from other schools and to be able to discuss books – it was a great experience and I really enjoyed it.”