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Set Sail on a Story Trail map and activities

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About Set Sail on a Story Trail

Have you ever wanted to set sail on an adventure of your own? Perhaps you’d like to play the main character of one of your favourite imagined worlds, hunting for clues?

We have created an exciting clue hunt trail for families, which follows a bespoke route through Islington, and explores themes from When Secrets Set Sail by best-selling author Sita Brahmachari.

Like the book’s characters Usha, Imtiaz and Cosmo, children and parents are encouraged to head on a quest and follow a string of clues to explore Islington’s stories, lost voices and history together during the summer holidays.

Starting at Finsbury Library or the Lewis Carroll Children’s Library, from July 23, families can pick up their trail map, hunt for clues, and write their findings to win a special, illustrated badge.

The trail encourages children to connect to their local library, discover that reading is an activity that can be enjoyed together while uncovering secrets and history in their area.

The trail is the perfect activity to get children reading for pleasure with their families and discovering the magic of stories for supporting wellbeing outside of school, especially for children who are starting secondary school in September.

Set Sail on a Story Trail is free to access and will encourage families and schools to explore Islington’s history, secrets and stories in an interactive and memorable way.

View and download your Story Trail map (PDF)

Download the answer sheet.

Hand in your map to win a special prize!

Simply hand in your completed map to Lewis Carroll Children’s Library or Finsbury Library to win a beautifully illustrated badge.

Library opening times

  • Finsbury Library, 245 St John St, London EC1V 4NB. Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday: 9am-5pm, Monday and Thursday: 9am-8pm
  • Lewis Carroll Children's Library, 166 Copenhagen St, London N1 0ST. Monday, Wednesday: 9:30am-1pm and 2pm-7pm, Friday: 9:30am-1pm, Saturday: 11am-5pm

Additional activities

Share your work with us to be in with a chance of having it published in our online Conch Gallery! Email, or tweet using #GetIslingtonReading.

  1. Join one of the special storytelling events with author Sita Brahmachari at the London Canal Museum at 11am or 2pm, on Tuesday 16 August. Recommended for ages 7 and up, this workshop will bring When Secrets Set Sail to life, and get children thinking creatively. Find out more and book.
  2. Get inspired and learn about the science all around you by signing up to the Summer Reading Challenge, the perfect next challenge if you have completed the Story Trail!
  3. Create a poster or wall-hanging about any characters or quotes which help you deal with change. Have a think about any fictional characters or quotes from your favourite books which make you feel happy or have a positive memory associated with them.
  4. Download our ‘books for big change’ booklist for ages 10-13. You can find all of these titles at your local library and every secondary school library in Islington.
  5. Anchors and sails transition activity: If you are going through a big change in your life you can download the activity sheet and write about your anchors and sails. Anchors are things that connect you to your past, ground you and make you feel safe: your friends, community, memories, hobbies and interests. Sails are things that propel you into your future: what excites you and what you are looking forward to. If you’re going into Year 7 in September, this could be a particular lesson or joining a new sports team.
  6. Create a memory box inspired by Sita Brahmachari: Sita uses props and treasures to connect to her stories, like Usha keeps Kali Ma’s precious things in a special chest in When Secrets Set Sail. Collect sentimental objects from your primary school days like favourite books, tickets, photos, exercise books and stickers. These are anchors that you can come back to when you are nervous about secondary school.
  7. Dreaming room drawing: Inspired by the top deck room in When Secrets Set Sail, imagine your own special safe place and design it. Somewhere to read, imagine and relax.
  8. You might like to use the resources from Hachette, the publishers of When Secrets Set Sail, which include teacher notes and an activity for pupils to create their own blue plaque.
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