Old Harbour’s very own daughter, award-winning and best-selling author Claudette Beckford-Brady has recently added another feather to her writing cap.
Her young adult novel, The Dixons, was picked as one of the books being used in the preliminary stage of the Jamaica Library Service’s National Reading Competition.
The Dixons was specifically written for the age group 12 years upwards and is being used in the 15-20 age group category of the competition.
The book is set in the town of Old Harbour and speaks particularly to the issue of teenage growing pains. Some of the featured themes of the book are family relationships – both good and bad – child abuse, teenage pregnancy, HIV/AIDS and its consequences, young love, and religion and faith in God. It also contains drama and suspense to make for a very exciting read.
Said Beckford-Brady: “I was surprised and excited when I was asked to submit my book to the Library Service for review, and when it was accepted I was extremely gratified. The selection of the book hopefully means that it will become more visible to the target audience and help them to make good and positive choices in their young lives”.
Beckford-Brady, who was born at Lennon’s Ville in the town, is the author of four other novels: Sweet Home, Jamaica and its sequel The Missing Years; Return to Fidelity; The Jacket Doesn’t Fit; plus a collection of award-winning short stories entitled Yaard and Abroad.
The Jamaica Library Service’s National Reading Competition is held on an annual basis. The main objectives of the competition are “to encourage the reading habit and develop reading skills” as well as “to cultivate an appreciation of various genres of literature” and “to foster continuing education in adults”.
Other books being used in the age 15-20 category are: The Boy Next Door, by Mandisa Parnell; and Gone to Drift, by Diana McCauley.
The competition will culminate with the National finals on August 25.
The Dixons, along with Beckford-Brady’s other books can be found at Old Harbour Books and Stationery Centre, Shop 3, 1 Vaz Drive, Glendon Court Plaza in Old Harbour and at branches of Sangster’s bookstores, as well as from the author herself.
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The second staging of the Welcome to Jamrock Reggae Cruise made its first charitable donation to the Jamaica Library Service on Tuesday, December 8 during its final stop in Jamaica that day.
The presentation which took place at the Ocho Rios Library in St. Ann saw Julian ‘Juju’ Marley making the presentation on behalf of Jamrock Productions, organizers of the Welcome to Jamrock Reggae Cruise.
Students from the Ocho Rios Preparatory and Ocho Rios Primary Schoosl along with officials from the Jamaica Library Service participated in the handover much to Mr. Marley’s pleasure.
“I am happy for the response this initiative has received. These children are the key to our countries country’s success and we hope others will help to encourage students in their learning activities. The cruise got an overwhelming support and it was a great joy to share this happiness and goodwill with the children", Julian Marley expressed.
Already making a significant impact on the tourism industry and making waves as one the most successful reggae cruises bringing in over 2,000 passengers. Patrons were encouraged to bring with them children books which would be donated to the library services.
Over 400 books were collected as a response to the call to support literacy in the region.
“We would like to thank you for your generous donation of books to the Jamaica Library Service. There is always a need in our libraries for books and our budgetary allocations are not always enough to support this need”, explained Ms. Merlene Walker, Regional Director for St. Ann Parish Library Network during the presentation.
The Cruise which led by Damian Marley featured performances from some of reggae’s finest to include Ky-Mani Marley, Wayne Marshall, Stephen Marley, Jah Cure, Barrington Levy, Morgan Heritage, Bounty Killer, Tanya Stephens, Popcaan and a host of others.