Student researchers

Whoever said ‘never work with children’ has not met our fantastic research team!!

In November 2018 and January 2019 we trained primary and secondary school students to join the GUAR team.  Our research days included training at the University of Edinburgh, and a visit to the Scottish Book Trust ( and Edinburgh’s Museum of Childhood ( to hear more about ‘Growing Up With Books’ (   We are delighted to work with both of these organisations on this project.

Our primary school student researchers outside the Scottish Book Trust

….and one for fun at the University!

A snap of our brilliant secondary school research team!

To our student researchers and all students who took part in Growing Up A Reader…..

Our research team spent several weeks reading through the interview transcripts from this project and we have genuinely been inspired by what you have said!  You have made us laugh (many times!) but more importantly, you have really made us think about what reading means to you all.  Here we share some of the things you have said, and our own reflections on these.   

Thanks again to all of you for taking part in this project!

The GUAR team 😊

When I re-read books that I used to read when I was little, and I’m like, oh my gosh, how did I like that joke! Like, you know… Where do apes make their toast? On the gorilla. That’s not funny anymore. You read it the first time, and it was hilarious…”.

It is hilarious! 😊  I found this so funny to read (and I’m almost 40!)  But do you know, it made me think about how our reading habits/interests evolve with age.  In the interviews we carried out with teenagers (age 15-16) for this project, they often reflected back on the things they read when they were younger too.  In fact, they often they shared a sadness that they no longer read those books or didn’t read as often as they once did. So, you never know, you may feel sentimental about these old jokes when you get older! In the meantime, I hope you find some hilarious new jokes to keep you entertained!

Reading for me…. It also brings up a personality”. 

Yes!  It does!!  How much of who we are do we owe to the books we have read?  So much of our knowledge, our thoughts and ideas stem from books.  I agree completely – books shape who we are – they bring up a personality. I couldn’t have put it better myself!

“I feel like… if it’s written very well, I feel like I’m there.”  

When I read this, it brought me back to when I was a child myself.  I remember feeling so completely immersed in some of the stories I read when I was young (mostly Enid Blyton).  But it also made me realise that I haven’t felt this way in such a long time, which made me reflect on my reading choices as an adult (quite a lot of non-fiction).  So, I’m now on the lookout for some new fiction…… thanks!

“Oh, what will happen here, what will happen here? Can I just read for two more minutes?” 

Haha, I know what you mean!  This is me when I have a good book! I do a lot of reading on holiday, usually bringing crime fiction with me and I’m aware that this sometimes makes me very unsociable! I do love books that you just want to read all in one go.