Reading week culminated in the Houkutus event at Sello Library
In Espoo, the national reading week culminated in the Houkutus event conceived by young people and organised at the Sello Library. The event was part of Espoo’s 50 Years as a City programme.
The event attracted around 50 visitors, who received reading tips, took a book test, had cake and juice, and spun a wheel of fortune, which rewarded them with reading tips for different moods. The young organisers also interviewed filmmaker Saila Kivelä, who directed Eläinoikeusjuttu (Just Animals), a documentary about animal rights.
The organisers had also planned an ARG (alternate reality game) mystery, which kept general upper secondary school students busy throughout the week. Five young people succeeded in solving the mystery, and the students from Kuninkaantien lukio were the first to crack the code to unlock the chest.
The theme of the reading week was “Improve the world by reading”.
Event created by young people
A team of ten general upper secondary school students from Espoo were in charge of organising the Houkutus event and the reading week. They had been planning the event since January together with the Espoo City Library and general upper secondary education staff.
“It would be great if this event encouraged young people to read,” says Aaro Korenius from Tapiolan lukio when talking about the goals of the Houkutus event. He was one of the organisers.
Reading has always been important to Korenius, as it has helped him deal with his emotions and the big issues in life. He names Franz Kafka as his favourite author. Korenius feels that Kafka’s absurdism aptly reflects the senselessness of the world around us.
Ida Pirttisaari from Viherlaakson lukio says that organising the event with like-minded young people in a fun atmosphere has not felt like work. Pirttisaari reads about 40 books a year, and her favourite author is Stephen King.
“The amount I read depends on my life situation, as general upper secondary school causes a lot of stress. I read more on holiday,” she says.
Helmi Pikkarainen from Kuninkaantien lukio was encouraged to participate in organising the reading week by her mother tongue teacher.
“I have longed to share the joy of reading with a community, and this gave me a chance to do that,” she praises the Houkutus team.
Pikkarainen counts that she read about 40 books last year. She finds reading to be a good way to relax after school and reads all kinds of books with a particular fondness for thrillers and young adult fiction.
“The worlds they describe are so different from our own”
The Houkutus event at the Sello Library offered reading tips to young readers.
Helmi, 14, had come to the event from Vantaa. She borrowed one book from the book trolley compiled for the event.
“I read a lot, mostly fantasy and science fiction. The worlds they describe are so different from our own,” Helmi answers when asked why she prefers fantasy.
Is reading popular among young people at your school?
“A few people read a lot, but there are many who only read if they have to,” she says.
The film Eläinoikeusjuttu speaks to young people
Out of several candidates, the team chose filmmaker Saila Kivelä to appear as a guest at the event. She talked about her documentary film Eläinoikeusjuttu (Just Animals), which deals with animal rights and activism. She got the idea for the film more than ten years ago when she was charged with secretly filming and photographing the conditions at animal farms.
The young organisers of Houkutus said that they wanted to choose a person who talks about topical themes that are important to young people.
Kivelä was interviewed by Ida Pirttisaari and Mika De Ruyter. They asked her, among other things, how her family reacted to the charges and whether the film clips reflect the reality of Finnish animal farms.
The interviewers also wanted to know whether anything has really changed and how much influence, in the end, one person can have.
“I have seen that individual people can make a huge difference. Vegetarianism and veganism are becoming increasingly popular. And the way people feel about animals and food has changed a great deal,” Kivelä answers.
The Houkutus event was part of an Espoo-based project funded by the Finnish National Agency for Education. The aim of the project was to inspire young people to read.
Books that currently inspire Saila Kivelä, director of Eläinoikeusjuttu:
Kristo Muurimaa: Eläintehtaat
Henriikka Tavi: Tellervo
Niko Hallikainen: Kanjoni
Johanna Vehkoo: Oikeusjuttu
E.L. Karhu: Veljelleni
Maggie Nelson: The Argonauts
Koko Hubara: Ruskeat tytöt
Reetta Aalto: Vadim
Personality test “What book are you?” bit.ly/Kirjatesti(external link) (in Finnish)
- General Upper Secondary Education
- Youth Services