Target Who Books Donated to Schools: 9673
Inspired Donations by Other People: 416

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Donating 11,000 Books to School Libraries to support Children's Literacy

Tuesday, 30 April 2013

The Edge of Distribution

Do you like the new look?  We’ve tweaked the blog slightly and hopefully it’s more readable now.  
We have had a busy two days with lots of inquiries from schools and we are slowly compiling lists of places to hopefully reach with our books.  You are all continuing to do a wonderful job of spreading word of our project.  We’ve been Shared, Retweeted and Liked across the internet and had many offers of help from teachers around the country.  Please keep up the good work.  Mark Gattiss we love you!  One retweet from you and our mailbox went crazy! 

Target Who staff marking school locations on the map
In our first post we said:
“It is also, partially, an experiment. We have no funding for this, nor are we asking for any.  We will seek to achieve our aim by distributing via our extended friends and family network and seeking the help of people within the teaching profession.”

To expand on that, we currently have approximately 12,000 books in our 'Centre of Operations' in Hampshire.  (Translation: A Doctor Who fan in Hampshire has a very understanding wife and no space left in his garage). We also have 2,000 books in our 'Gloucestershire Hub'.  (Translation:  My equally understanding wife and I drove to Hampshire to fetch some books . I now can’t move in my office for the stacks of books piled up!)

We have members of our little group in other areas of the UK and have press ganged various members of our families and friends, so slowly we will move piles of books around the country and closer to those far away schools.  I suspect that every family journey I make in the months ahead will include a box of books in the back for a detour en route! 

Many schools have been in touch already and we have a growing list to send books to.  We will get books out to you all eventually, but for those of you furthest away from our doorstep we ask that you have a little patience with us.  We should have the first books in schools by next week and we’ll keep you updated on that every step of the way.  A counter has been added to the top of the page and we are looking forward to the numbers slowly increasing in the months ahead. 

We will get books to you using any means possible!
We have also had many wonderful messages from Teachers.  We’ve been told about Doctor Who theme days, their pupils’ love of Doctor Who and even teaching Venn Diagrams using Matt Smith and David Tennant!  These are comments that we’d really love everyone to be able to read, as well as hearing back about how the books are received by the pupils themselves!  We’ll therefore be creating some special postings designed for you to comment on.  Look out for them soon.

Saturday, 27 April 2013

An Unearthly Plan

Well day two of our little adventure and we are grateful for all the help and support received so far. We've had a lot of visitors to this blog and also our Facebook page and kind comments left on both.  People have also been tweeting and spreading word of us on Twitter, and we've even had retweet's from the cast and crew of Doctor Who past and present. Thanks to all who have help spread the word about our scheme. Please don't stop though, we want to reach far and wide with this venture, so the more we are talked about, Liked, Shared and Retweeted the better!

We've had a few emails and questions too, so we thought we would clarify a few points here.

Doctor Who fans' favourite teachers.

 To Teachers:

The books are all brand new Doctor Who books that feature novelisations of the TV adventures of the first seven Doctors. (William Hartnell, Patrick Troughton, Jon Pertwee, Tom Baker, Peter Davison, Colin Baker and Sylvester McCoy) 

The copies we have were printed during the later 1980s or early 1990s and have been waiting patiently to be read, in storage, for the last 20-25 years before being auctioned on eBay earlier this year. 

The books are FREE. There is no charge. We hope to divide the books into small sets of 6-10 books for each school we can reach. If you are interested in books for your classroom or school library please establish contact with us via email. Please note however that it may not be possible to reach schools in every area, but we will do our best. We are scattered around the country, but not everywhere. We may initially have no way of reaching you but we will endeavour to find a way if at all possible. We are only a small collection of Doctor Who fans who are celebrating the shows 50th Anniversary by sharing the books we loved as children with the new generation of fans. 

Young Doctor Who fans meeting their hero in 1980 (or are they?)
To Doctor Who Fans: 

No, sorry, you can't buy any of our books. Our feeling on this is that a book in a fan’s collection will probably be read once, if ever and filed away as part of a collection. A book on a school bookshelf can be discovered by at least 30 children EVERY year. We have bought these books because we want them to be read and enjoyed again and again. Placing them in schools allows that to happen. 

Yes! Patience! We will show you photos of all the books. You can probably work out which titles we have by the backdrop photo to the blog, but we will list them all in time. We know how some fans love lists! We will tell the full story eventually, but at the moment, while schools are open we are spending our energies distributing books. The summer holidays will soon be upon us and while schools are closed for six weeks, we will serialise our story. 

We are very much aware that there are more schools in the UK than we have books, despite the enormous amount we have. That is why ADDITIONALLY we hope you the fans will also consider doing the same as us and donating a book of your own to a school in your area. This is completely separate to our book giveaway. We simply hope that Doctor Who fans around the world will love our idea and do the same with a single book in their local school. 

Unwrapping all these Doctor Who books felt like Christmas as a child again!
Today we've been answering emails, learning how to open up comments on the blog so that everyone can leave messages (go on try it), setting the clock to UK time and spreading the word.  We've also been unwrapping and sorting some of the books. Here's a little peek. Enjoy! 
A very, very small sample of our books, to be hopefully enjoyed by schoolchildren across the country soon!

Friday, 26 April 2013

The Target Master Plan

There’s a rumour going around about a crazy Doctor Who fan that bought 11,000 Target Doctor Who books off eBay and never even got a full set!  There is a grain of truth in it.  There was an eBay auction of 11,000 Doctor Who books, multiple copies of 36 titles. However, it wasn’t one Doctor Who fan that bought them, it was a small group of us.  We didn’t buy them for ourselves - We have a plan, and when you read what it is below, you just might think we are all a little crazy.

Firstly, for the benefit of anyone who does not know, here is a little about Target Books.  The imprint was set up in 1973 and its initial selection of children’s books included reprints of three Doctor Who novelisations, first published in the 1960s.  With these three books proving the most popular sellers, the publishers soon commissioned more and over the next 21 years 156 individual Doctor Who novelisations were released, selling a staggering 13 million copies worldwide.

Some of the ranges most popular books, recently reprinted for a new generation to enjoy
With the TV series experiencing a rebirth in recent years and having the same effect on this current generation of children, we have heard from some school teachers how these books are still incredibly popular on classroom bookshelves, especially amongst those reluctant male readers.  So when over 11,000 of these vintage books were discovered, still shrink wrapped in the publisher’s original packaging and placed as a bulk sale item on eBay, we knew what we wanted to do - purchase the books and donate them in small batches free to schools around the country.  They sit perfectly in both Upper Junior School classroom shelves and Senior School libraries.  For us it is our way of celebrating the show’s 50th Anniversary.  As the classic and new series come together this year, we as the childhood fans of yesteryear want to share with the current and next generation of fans the books that inspired and encouraged us to read.  We hope they will sit in school libraries for many years to come, constantly being discovered and enjoyed by children.
A small selection of our books.  We'll show you a picture of all of them soon!

It is also, partially, an experiment. We have no funding for this, nor are we asking for any.  We will seek to achieve our aim by distributing via our extended friends and family network and seeking the help of people within the teaching profession. 
This blog will document our project.  It will tell our story from initial crazy idea, until the distribution of the final book.  It will show, via a pin map, exactly what locations we manage to get books to and hopefully report any feedback we may receive from teachers and pupils.  With it we hope to put a smile on every reader’s face.

We live in an era when a crazy idea can spread across the globe in a matter of hours.  In fact this crazy group of ours is testament to that as we hail from England, Scotland, Wales, Eire, United States of America, Canada, New Zealand and Ukraine!  We hope to use other social media to generate publicity.  Not publicity for us, for we are not seeking to do this for praise, but for publicity for our idea that children’s literacy is important and that we, the generation that grew up embracing reading can help introduce the current generation to its pleasures.  It is sad that some of our children are growing up regarding reading as just ‘something they are made to do at school.’  It only takes one book to captivate children and make them realise that it’s not a collection of printed pages, but an adventure waiting to escape into their minds and feed their imagination.  If just one of our books can inspire a child, all our efforts will have been worth it.

Schools - Email your address and a contact name to to register your interest in receiving some of our books

Doctor Who Fans: Can you also help?

We acknowledge that there will be parts of the country we cannot reach.  We simply don’t have friends or relatives in that area, but there are Doctor Who fans EVERYWHERE!  Also there are more schools in the UK than we have books.  Children around the country would love Doctor Who books in their school libraries.  We hope that you will all join us in our quest to put a Doctor Who book in every school on this the 50th Anniversary year.  If you have ever read a Target book, if you have ever enjoyed the show, or even if you just think our aim is a wonderful idea, please consider buying just one book and donating it to YOUR local school.  If you cannot find an old Target novelisation, or your budget doesn’t allow for one of the new full length novels, one of the new Doctor Who Quick-Reads would be perfect. The latest one only costs £1.00. 
If you do, please tell us where and we can record your donation on our pin map.

We hope to finish with a map with not only thousands of pins denoting where we have give our books freely, but also a second set of pins denoting where other fans have been inspired by us to also donate a book of their own to school.

We can be contacted in the following ways:
Twitter: @targetwho
Via our Facebook group:
or you can comment on any post here.

We know how generous the Doctor Who community can be and hope you will join us in celebrating this special year by embracing our idea. We are really hoping someone can put a Yeti novel in a school in Tooting Bec!*

*In-joke only understood by ancient Doctor Who fans