Libraries across New Zealand are celebrating Library Week from 20-26 August and
Manukau Libraries have chosen the Week to launch a new event for Manukau teenagers called The Odyssey.
The Odyssey is a concept based on an American event - Teen Book Week, where teenagers build up points by reading, and
then use points to bid for prizes.
Education and Literacy Co-ordinator, Kelly McKean explains, “Manukau Libraries has a strong commitment to services for
young people in Manukau, and this has never been more evident than with the opening of Tupu – Dawson Road Youth Library
and Pacific Island Week – Youth Pasifika 2001 held earlier this month.
“With The Odyssey, we hope to promote reading by choice to teenagers. Often school homework and set reading go
hand-in-hand and unfortunately this can make reading seem a chore. What we hope to achieve with The Odyssey is to fuel
young people’s appetites for good books, to develop their reading skills and literacy through more exposure to books –
and building reading mileage.
“Reading mileage is a key factor in the development of literacy skills. It is a very rare case of quantity being just as
important as quality.”
The Odyssey is only for 13-17 year olds and combines a reading incentive programme with events, to be held in the first
week of the school holidays. The reading programme starts on Monday 27 August and involves teens earning a point for
each book read during a five-week period. Bonus points are given for books listed on The Odyssey Top 50 list. The points
are then used to bid for prizes during auctions held from Tuesday 2 October. Sponsors, Dick Smith Electronics and
Village Cinemas, have assisted with prizes for the auctions.
“The Top 50 list is a way of introducing teens to different authors and genres. Many of the authors on the list are
award winners and include top teen fiction writers like Cynthia Voigt, Sherryl Jordan and Philip Pullman” says Ms
More information can be found on The Odyssey’s website, sponsored by sitevision at www.theodyssey.co.nz. The site can be
viewed at any branch of Manukau Libraries, on their free Internet access terminals.