Laois County Library Summer Reading Challenge Launch

5th class pupils in Ms McCarthy’s class were one of the lucky classes invited to Portlaoise Library for the launch of this year’s summer reading challenge.  

Author and retired teacher, Judi Curtin, was there to share the story of her childhood, her dreams, her journey and her success as a children’s book author.  

Judi’s writing career began as an adult book writer (2 books).  She wrote a children’s book at the request of her own children and it was entitled “Alice Next Door”.  Despite feeling that her “real job” was writing adult books, Judi’s journey with her two initial child-characters, Alice and Megan, resulted in 8 books before she moved on to a new character named Eva, who took her on a journey through 5 books.  Her latest book is “Time after Time”, which we can’t wait to read in full!! She is currently working on a book entitled “Stand by Me” and we look forward to it being finished and on the shelves of Portlaoise Library!! 

The children enjoyed her stories, many of which were very entertaining!  


A little about Judi: 


Judi showed us her party dress from when she was a very small 5 year old.  Unlike most children her age, Judi’s reason for loving birthday parties was sneaking into her friends’ rooms to search for books she hadn’t yet read.  She spent many a birthday party reading, which was her idea of a perfect party! 

She remembers her 7th birthday, as she had hoped so much for books and instead got a doll, named Carol, whose beautiful hair met a disastrous end one afternoon when Judi found herself bored after reading all the books in the house…..the story she told her parents didn’t quite match the truth! 

Her 10th birthday is also memorable as, instead of receiving some of her beloved books, Judi received another doll from her uncle.   

Despite not loving these dolls, Judi still has them and shared stories of how her grandmother knitted many of the clothing for them. 

Judi was a pleasure to listen to and after reading from her latest book and answering some of the children’s questions, she had to rush off to another engagement. 

Summer Reading Challenge: 

The children were then given lots of information about the upcoming summer book challenge.  They will receive some goodies at registration and have until 31st August to read 8 books of their choice.  More information is available in the leaflets they will bring home and at Portlaoise Library.  We hope to see many children participate in this challenge!!! 

We would like to extend thanks to Judi and the staff of Portlaoise Library for their time and hospitality today.  A special word of thanks goes to our Home School Liaison Officer, Mrs D Delaney, for organising this enjoyable event!