Exciting news everyone! We’ve been hired to deliver a shipment of Backward Hopping Frogs to the lily-pad markets of Swampo 9! Wait. Sorry, I was temporarily inhabited by the spirit of Professor Farnsworth because I said “Exciting news everyone!”
But there is exciting news! The wonder Gavin (or Garreth as I insist on calling him) has just announced Believeathon 2: Journey to the Stronghold! I know! It’s brilliant! The men cheered! The women fainted! The children waved multi-coloured flags! For those of you who don’t know, Gav is a booktuber who launched the “Believe in the Magic Readathon” (or Believathon for short) back in November as a way to celebrate all of the amazing Middle Grade books that are released every year. Well, it’s back, in a slightly tweaked, very VERY exciting format and, guess what! I was lucky enough to be involved! We’ll get onto my teeny tiny input later though.
Believathon2: Journey to the Stronghold, is a reading adventure, disguised very cunningly as a readathon. Starting out at the Poachers Pocket Inn, you are enlisted to save the Book Keeper’s Stronghold, Capital of the Land of Make-Belieavthon, from the wicked curse laid upon it by an evil and, frankly, impolite witch. As you valiantly quest through Make-Believathon, you have to pick a route through some familiar, and possibly famous, landmarks, each of which has a reading prompt to complete in order to weaken the curse, or further your quest.
Honestly, it has me in full D&D mode and I want to just make my own character to go frolicking through Make-Believathon. (I’ve already decided that they’re a half-Elf bard with a penchant for gadgets and an inability to whistle, much to his chagrin. He also has a pet donkey named Bartholomew who only speaks in dirty limericks, but that’s not important.)
The end goal of whichever path you take is the Book Keeper’s Stronghold, in the frozen north of Make-Believathon, besieged and cursed by the rude witch. Once you’ve made your way there, using all you skill and guile (and reading ability) you’ll be enriched in mind, body, spirit, and… Well, I can’t tell you that. You’ll just have to take part in the readathon for yourself!
Enough about that though, time for the actually exciting stuff: ME! I joke, I joke, but I was so so lucky and honoured that Gav asked for my help in putting together some recommendations. Little old me! I know, I’m shook too!
For each location and book prompt, four of us (Karen, Liam, Liam and me) lucky people got to give some recommendations for what books we might read. Some were old favourites, some were new ones that I’ve only recently, but all were books I absolutely adore! If you want to know what I’ve recommended, and what my other esteemed recommendationers suggested, you’ll just have to look in the compendium, won’t you.
The Compendium is like the bible of the Believathon 2, and there’s a super fancy edition that you can ACTUALLY BUY and hold in your hands!
If you want to see the inside of the compendium, you’ll either have to buy a copy, or you can download everything, including the super cool map the Elinor Byass designed (and Gav coloured in) right here. There are two versions of the compendium, a long version and a short version, that you can use for making your TBR pile, taking the Quester’s Pledge (very important), and add super important dates to your diary (which just happen to be while I’m on holiday, thanks Garreth…)
I really really hope you take part in this, it’s genuinely my favourite readathon, and I know just how much love and time and effort and patience Gav puts into it and making it as amazing as possible. If you want to know anything else, you can find all the information in Gav’s announcement video (also subscribe because his videos are a) amazing, b) hilarious, and c) his Velma impression is truly iconic), or follow him or Belieavathon on twitter, where all the updates will be being posted.
Well, I’m off to put together my TBR for this one, just need to decide which path through Make-Believathon I’m going to take. What prompts are really leaping out at you? Do you think you can make it to the Stronghold and defeat the evil villain, Rudeness McRudewitch (not their name, I’m just annoyed by their rudeness at cursing the Stronghold. LET THE BOOKS BE FREE DARN IT!)