When we read, we bring to a text a wealth of our own experience and understanding. Each of us imbues some of ourselves into the book and so every one of us has a different interpretation.
Lancashire Reads is a promotion that is intended to bring people of all ages and backgrounds together to read the same book and to give their own experiences, thoughts and views.
This year, our chosen book is 'Up on Cloud Nine' by Anne Fine. It's an unusual book that is funny in parts, sad in others and that really makes the reader think. Stolly the main character in the book was described by 'The Observer' newspaper as 'one of the most endearing and original characters to have appeared in children's literature'.
Anne Fine is a perfect writer for a promotion of this kind. She will be familiar to many as the author of 'Madame Doubtfire', the novel upon which the blockbuster film starring Robin William was based. Anne writes for all age groups with picture books like 'Ruggles', through to children's fiction like 'Up on Cloud Nine' and adult novels with 'Fly in the Ointment'.
We felt that 'Up on Cloud Nine' was too strong a story to keep for children alone and hope that you will join with us over the coming three months in reading this extraordinary book.
It's a book about life, a book about identity and so it can reach out to each and every one of us.
Here is a short taster…
'He looks so – dead – for someone who has always been so alive, spilling with words and ideas. To look at him now, you'd find it hard to credit he's had a life.
If he went now, all his past stuff would shrivel, even in our minds. The dead all vanish, unless they have some ferreting biographer to track down their life again after they've gone.'