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Tuesday, November 20, 2018
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Congratulations to Michael Weir on completing all eight short-listed titles from the Northern Ireland Book Awards. Michael was closely followed by Fergus McMullan and Kai Burcombe!  

First is Michael Weir who finished all titles before his move over the pond to the USA

Oisin McGann is ?legend? at R.B.A.I. library

As Irish author Oisin McGann explained, “telling a story in an unusual way is what it’s all about.”

E-Books or paperbacks, whatever the format, it’s the content that matters to pupils and parents at the Royal Belfast Academical Institution. Celebrating World Book Day with a lively and entertaining event hosted by librarian Mrs. Kathy Lindsay, Oisin brought together both parents and pupils with his exploration into language and reading by challenging pupils to find words that their parents “from last century” would never find in their vocabulary.  “Epic” and “awesome” were among the favourites but “legend” had it!

Oisin McGann describes his books as “fast, hold-the-reader and fairly fly-along” – and isn’t that the best thing about reading? Books are the movies of our imaginations and why indeed pupils and parents wanted to celebrate World Book Day together in the R.B.A.I library.


NI Book Award Drama workshops with Stephen Beggs

A ‘gangsta granny’ attempting to break into the Tower of London and escape on her mobility scooter; a family being smuggled in the bottom of a lorry from East to West Berlin during the time of the Cold War; a mad tramp trying to warn others about a plan to wipe out the rest of the world and a young lad sketching in a graveyard who is able to see a figure help the dead from one world to another. These were some of the ‘freeze-frames’ acted out in the library by year 10 pupils in their drama workshops held as part of the N. Ireland Book awards in the library. Workshops were hosted by Stephen Beggs, Company Manager of the Bruiser Theatre Company in Belfast. ( In addition to the characters caught up in each scenario, pupils transformed themselves into all sorts of inanimate objects – desks, trees, windows, the Tower of London so that absolutely everyone had a role to play and was fully involved. Brilliant! 


Northern Ireland Book Award 2011/12 launches in RBAI library

Wednesday 16th November saw the launch of the third Northern Ireland Children’s Book Award in our beautiful Christ Church library. Nineteen of the twenty-six schools participating in the award came to the RBAI to discover which of their 60 plus nominations  had made it to the final eight titles on the short-list. The whacky ‘Ministry of Pandemonium’ by Chris Westwood – a sort of Harry Potter meets Stephen King made the cut as indeed did ‘Gangsta Granny’ by David Walliams. Historical novels, adventure stories and a science-fiction title were also included in the final eight books.

A literary Mastermind was held with Fergus McMullan 8J beating off fellow pupils James Ritchie (8J) and Daniel Taylor (10P) and the team from Bangor Grammar School to win the mega bar of chocolate on offer.

Irish author Oisin McGann was a superb guest speaker and had his young audience in fits of laughter. A great morning was had by all 180 participants who came from as far away as Keady, Strabane and Omagh. For those who would like to follow the NI book award please log on to  or contact Mrs Lindsay in the library.


Mrs Lindsay with RBAI literary mastermind contenders
RBAI literary Mastermind contenders James Ritchie, Fergus McMullan and Daniel Taylor with Mrs Lindsay

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