Filling the gap? A study of some South African teenage reader's responses to the Siyagruva series books at the Eersterivier public library in Cape Town
Mabuza, Peggy Dumisile
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The purpose of this study is to investigate responses to New Africa Book’s Siyagruva Series among six enthusiastic teenage readers (ages 10 -16), at Eersterivier Public Library in Cape Town. The series aims to provide a series of popular books accessible to second language English readers. The question that underlies the research project is whether they fill a gap in the South African teenage reading market. There are several motives behind this study besides the fact that South African learners read very little: • The need to investigate reading preferences and choices among South African teenagers • To find out factors which affect reading choices of South African teenagers • The need to encourage reading culture in South Africa. The qualitative case study of reading response tries to answer the research question through face to face interviews with selected readers. The nature of the small-scale case study means that it can make no generalised statements about all South African teenagers. It explores the views of only six teenagers. The study finds that the books do fulfil a need in the readers to read about “real” issues and situations that reflect their own lives. The participants like the idea of a series of books with the same characters whom they like and identify with. They find the appearance and style of the books appealing. They now wish to read all the books in the series. This investigation will be of interest to various role players like: • publishers, who wish to be in touch with their teenage market • booksellers, who wish to stock saleable books • librarians and school educators who wish to provide young people with appealing books • the Centre for the Book and NGOs who wish to promote a reading culture.