Welcome to Read DL

Read DL is a county-wide reading movement, designed to bring the people of Donegal together by collectively reading the same book.

The aims of the Read DL project are to:

  • Improve literacy skills and foster a love of reading;
  • Entice people, young and old, to read more and;
  • Encourage the entire community to read the same book, share ideas and to broaden and expand their viewpoints.

For our 2019 project, we had participants from:

  • 70 schools (57 primary schools and 13 post-primary schools)
  • All six Youthreach Centres 
  • Three Community-based groups (and families signed up too!)
  • All “Learning for Living” Centres, for adults returning to education as part of the Donegal Education and Training Board (ETB)

We also had:

  • A massive 2,285 books distributed across the county, thanks to Letterkenny Institute of Technology (LYIT) and the Donegal Education and Training Board (ETB) – the most we have ever distributed!
  • A further 100 books purchased and made available in all Donegal Libraries for community use
  • Booktastic events were facilitated across the county
  • 192 entries to our 2019 creative writing competition.

Click here to find out more.

Please explore our website to find out how to get involved!

Read DL 2020

This is a very special year for us for two reasons. First of all, we are delighted to be celebrating our tenth year spreading the love of reading across Donegal. Secondly, this we have also teamed up with The Laureate Na Nóg Sarah Crossan on her poetry project called #WeAreThePoets. This means we will not only be focusing on poetry this year, but also teaming up with Sarah to organise a series of workshops across the county. In addition, Read DL will be hosting a range of other celebratory events for our very special birthday!

Our chosen book this year is Hopscotch in the Sky by Lucinda Jacob. Lucinda is a poet, illustrator and author of fiction for young people. She has written and illustrated a number of picture books and storybooks for new readers, scripts for the national broadcaster RTÉ and poetry for older children, published in numerous collections.

From ice creams to Christmas trees, flying grannies to reading mermaids, haiku to rhyming verse, Hopscotch in the Sky takes children on a magical poetic journey through the seasons of the year. Funny and touching, sweet and sharp, these poems are full of life and verve.

This beautiful book also includes a rainbow of enchanting illustration by award-winning artist Lauren O’Neill, winner of the Children’s Books Ireland Award for Illustration in 2016.

‘This is a charming, accessible collection from one of Ireland’s best poets for children, Lucinda Jacob. She covers all kinds of topics from friendship to school and her work cries out to be read aloud. The classy, expressive illustrations by Lauren O’Neill make this a pocket treasure.’ – The Irish Independent from their list of best children’s books of 2017

Educational Resources!

Click here to check out the resources that are available for this year’s book. This includes classroom activities and audiobook links!

Read DL 2019

The chosen book for Read DL 2019 was Mr Stink by David Walliams. We were delighted that all our participants received a very special message from the author. You can watch it online here!

Chloe, the loneliest girl in the world, makes friends with Mr Stink, the local tramp. One day, she decides to help him out when she realises he might be driven out of town. How does she do that? Well, she hides him in her shed.

She has to make sure that no one finds out her secret. And speaking of secrets, there just might be more to Mr Stink than what meets the eyes (or the nose). This hilarious and charming story is filled with love, life and surprising secrets!  

Read DL 2018

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

Based on an original concept by author Siobhan Dowd, the story is about a boy who is struggling to come to terms with his mother’s terminal illness. Unexpectedly,  he is visited one night by a monster, asking if he can tell him three stories. In return, he wants the most dangerous thing of all from Connor: the truth.

Patrick Ness and the book’s illustrator Jim Kay won the Carnegie and Greenaway Medals for writing and illustration, making history with this unprecedented win.

A Monster Calls also won the British Children’s Book of the Year, the Red House Children’s Book Award, a national award voted by British children; and the Kitschies Red Tentacle award. In the U.S., the American Library Association magazine Booklist named it the “Top of the List” for 2011 youth fiction.

We were very lucky to have a special message sent to us by Patrick Ness; it was shown to our delighted readers for the closing ceremony in 2018. You can watch it online here!

Advice and Support: A Monster Calls tells the story of  a young boy coming to terms with his mother’s terminal illness. Click on the link above for resources, advice and support for anyone who may have been affected by the themes presented in this book. 

Get Involved

Getting involved is simple. All you have to do is register here.

Participating groups and schools are encouraged to take part in their own activities; the more creative you are, the better! In the past, schools and community groups have organised lots of events. Some examples include reading the book in school and at home, having mystery guest readers in school classes, participating in writing competitions based on the book, and finally, taking part in art and other creative projects inspired by the story.

If you are taking part in a project based on the book, please let us know! We would love to post up any photos or stories you have on our website and social media pages.

Download our new App!

Make sure to download the Read Donegal app for: the latest news; some very special bonus “goodies”; and of course, our list of book-tastic events that will be taking place over the next six weeks. You can add them to your own custom planner so you’ll not miss a thing!  

Download the app here: https://n56.ie/readdl/