Tweet results in 300 books for students at The Bulwell Academy

The Bulwell Academy's principal Paul Halcro with students at the Alice in Wonderland party
The Bulwell Academy's principal Paul Halcro with students at the Alice in Wonderland party

Children have entered a literary wonderland after their school was swamped with books from around the world when a tweet went viral.

Bulwell Academy pupils are spending their summer holidays reading a selection of 300 storybooks which were donated to their school.

In notes to the donors, who included authors of the books, John Underwood, 13, said: “I will be travelling to Scotland and I will be reading this on the way” while Jac Fish, 12, said: “I’m going to read my book at my caravan”. Marcin Sobota, 12, said: “Thank you for letting me get a captivating book.”

A simple tweet from young English teacher Kate Hamer which noted that students didn’t have their own storybooks resulted in gifts from more than a dozen authors with further donations from book bloggers and reviewers.

Kate said: “I’m overwhelmed by the generosity of the people who have donated. Teenage years can be confusing and lonely. All teenagers want is to find someone they can relate to. Young adult books are beautifully diverse – regardless of race, gender, sexuality, disability or background, there will always be a book that will help teenagers make sense of the world and realise that they are not alone.”

Students first became aware of the project when 120 of them received mysterious ‘golden tickets’ inviting them to a special event at The Bulwell Academy.

The Alice in Wonderland-themed party celebrated the 150th anniversary of the book’s publication.

On arriving at the party, students were treated to cakes and drinks while they chose a book to take home with them.

Student Leandra Brito, 15, said “It was a real surprise to walk into the library to take part in a party! It was great fun and I found it tough to choose a favourite book. I chose Vendetta by Catherine Doyle because it looks a bit different from my usual choice of books, the beginning is fab.”

Academy principal Paul Halcro was quick to praise the staff who organised the tea party. He said “It’s clear that tremendous effort and energy has been given to this and we’re extremely grateful to those authors and publishers who have given their commitment to our students.

“We believe that a passion for reading leads to enthusiasm for learning and this has been a superb day for all those who were lucky enough to have a golden ticket.”

The school’s senior librarian,Elaine Stevens said: “It’s fantastic to see an excitement for reading in our students.”