One Liberties One Book Literary Festival is a brilliant spin-off of the Department of Education’s Home School Liaison programme. The festival was celebrated in style in historic St. Catherine’s Church in Thomas Street where Robert Emmett was executed. Children from 10 schools from the Liberties Medieval Dublin districts packed in to hear the North Strand Klezmer Band playing Jewish soul music, an exciting blend of jazz and oriental dance music, and then to listen to Marilyn Taylor talk about her novel 17 Martin Street, the chosen book for the school project. The book features a Jewish immigrant family and how they related to their Christian neighbours during World War II. Each school developed creative projects based on the book, including the poster (left) illustrated by Yana Kulizhskaya, a local school pupil.

Denis McCarthy, head of the Home School Liaison programme, told how 400 teachers across Ireland have devised programmes locally, often based on books, to promote reading in the home and in school. Marilyn Taylor’s Faraway Home has also been used for a major One Ballymun One Book project with Our Lady of Victories BNS.