Alan’s story

In the library we are always looking for good books that will engage people who need to practice and improve their reading skills.

I decided to run a reading group using Tom Palmer’s Barcelona Away with a group of Young Offenders who had desperately low reading levels. The books are free so I was able to give each member of the group their own copy to keep.

The book really grabbed their attention. I used the questions at the end of each chapter to encourage them to talk about the plot and to discuss their own experiences in relation to the main characters.

The book, and the experience of sharing and reflecting on their own lives and ideas, will have undoubtedly helped them to take a further step along the road to reducing their chances of re-offending.


Alan is the Prison Library Service Advisor for Staffordshire Prison Library Service.