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Adult Learners” Week Continues with Voting Success for Walters

The voting for the winner of Quick Reads has come to an end, and will the winner step forward: Minette Walters!

The author has been voted as the most popular author for “Chickenfeed” by adult learners who decided that her work was their favourite on the Quick Reads List. The book, together with other titles on the list, has been in use by adult learners in adult literacy courses across the country. The award was presented to Minette at a ceremony earlier today by Gail Rebuck, Chief Executive of the Random House Group and Alan Tuckett, Director of the National Institute of Adult Continuing Education (NIACE).

A Heady Honour

The programme was first launched by Prime Minister Tony Blair only a few weeks ago, in March 2006. This saw the publication of twelve titles by the following contributors: Richard Branson, Maeve Binchy, Joanna Trollope, Minette Walters, Ruth Rendell, Rowan Coleman, Patrick Augustus, John Bird, Tom Holt, Matthew Reilly, Conn Iggulden and Mick Dennis and the Premier League.

The winning book, “Chickenfeed”, was published by Pan Publishing and runs to 121 pages. The story itself is based on the true story of the murders in 1924 in East Sussex known as the “chicken farm murder”. The people voting on the books were the very same people who have been using them. The adult learners were drawn from across different parts of the country and included a group of dinner ladies in Hull, a London based group of Transport for London employees, an adult education group in Tameside and a Plymouth based group connected to a Christian charity working with learners in English for speakers of other languages (ESOL) classes.

The Importance and the Future

The importance of the programme was touched on by Anne Watson from Transport for London (TfL), who said: “Chickenfeed” was definitely our first choice as it best fitted the match between plot, language and length. It really did use its language powerfully to tell a tale set 100 years ago. This led many on to investigate further on the internet and question their own preconceptions and reactions and assumptions. Surely this is literature at its best. This is when it changes lives.”

The programme is set to continue beyond Adult Learners” Week. Twelve more books have been published on the 18th of May, with contributions coming from Andy McNab, Courttia Newland, Damien Lewis, Danny Wallace, a Doctor Who title by Gareth Roberts, Hunter Davies, John Francome, Katherine John, Lynne Barrett-Lee, Mike Phillips, Tom Holland and Val McDermid. The message is clear ““ reading matters, and it is never too late.

Jethro Marsh

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