Q&A: The Reading Bus and Book Week Scotland

The Reading Bus
Category: Reading

Reading Bus Development Officer Jenny Watson tells us about her work and how the Reading Bus will be celebrating Book Week Scotland with a special day of activities at Duthie Park Aberdeen on Saturday 1st December.





Tell us about your organisation and the work you do

The Reading Bus is the focal point of a cutting edge literacy project that operates in Aberdeen. The Reading Bus has an established programme of innovative practice that has been recognised locally and nationally. We are committed to engaging young people in real life contexts with tangible outcomes that help them to have a strong sense of personal achievement and increased self-confidence.   

Who do you work with?


The Reading Bus works with 3 - 18 year old as well as families. Onboard the actual Reading Bus we have storytelling sessions, read-along workshops, puppet work and author sessions. Three different strands have also developed over the last three years. Reading Bus Press has published 5 commercial books and over 20 books written and illustrated by young people. Our first publication, Fit Like, Yer Majesty? sold over 11,000 copies. Reading Radio is a partnership developed with Station House Media Unit with funding from Children in Need. 17 schools are involved in this exciting initiative and every Thursday morning they broadcast an hour long live radio show on SHMU 99.8 FM. We also run a film animation programme called Moving Flicks. Pupils work with a team of storytellers, artists and animators to create their own animated films.  

What are you doing to celebrate Book Week Scotland?

During Book Week Scotland we are celebrating our latest initiative, Apardion, A Leopard's Quest. Over 2011/12 we ran this city-wide project that began with the launch of Apardion, A Leopard’s Quest by Sheena Blackhall in October 2011. This book was the springboard for creation of a hub of resources to populate The Apardion website and the Apardion iPhone app. Over the year we worked with 52 schools and over 3,500 young people to create over 120 films, podcasts and ePubs to celebrate the rich history and culture of our granite city.

To celebrate this culmination of this work, we have a series of events taking place during Book Week Scotland. These include a Film Premiere at a local cinema, an Apardion Magical Bus Tour that will take 30 VIPs on a tour of Aberdeen with pupils as their guides and bus stops at different heritage landmarks to view films, podcasts and books. We are also hosting a Family Fun Day at Duthie Park on Saturday 1st December.

kids at eventWhat are you personally doing to celebrate Book Week Scotland?

I will be at all our Apardion Events during Book Week Scotland and am really looking forward to celebrating the work of the talented young people of Aberdeen.

Do you have a favourite book? 

I always find it very hard to choose one favourite book, but just now my favourite one is The Gruffalo in Scots by James Robertson because it makes me chuckle out loud!

Click here to learn more about the Apardion Magical Bus Tour's St. Andrew's Day celebrations taking place this Friday

Jenny Watson

Jenny is the Reading Bus Development Officer. The Reading Bus launched a book, Apardion, A Leopard’s Quest by Sheena Blackhall in October 2011. This book was the springboard for creation of a hub of resources created by over 3,500 young people to populate apardion.com and the Apardion iPhone app.