HarperCollins is donating 50,000 books to organisations supporting families during the Covid-19 crisis, including titles by Michael Morpurgo, Ant Middleton and David Walliams.
The publisher is working the National Literacy Trust, Glasgow Life and the Mayor’s Fund for London’s Kitchen Social programme to support their respective work in Manchester, Stoke, Blackpool, Glasgow, and several London boroughs. The donation adds to more than 360,000 books donated by HarperCollins in 2020.
A wide selection of titles including children’s books and learning resources, adult fiction and crossword puzzles, will be distributed via participating libraries, food banks, youth groups and other community hubs.
The titles included in the donation have been selected for a mix of age ranges. Copies of Morpurgo’s Toto and an Eagle in the Snow are included alongside books from the Mr Men and Little Miss series, Walliams’ The Beast of Buckingham Palace, and home-schooling resources such as Awesome Maths and English for ages 5-7 by National Geographic Kids. For adults, longer non-fiction reads like The Fear Bubble by Middleton and romantic fiction titles such as Just My Luck by Adele Parks have been included.
The donation, to be delivered to families over the February half term and during Easter, is part of The Literacy Project, which was launched by c.e.o. Charlie Redmayne in 2018.
Morpurgo said: “The HarperCollins Literacy Project, hand in hand with the National Literacy Trust and other organisations, are offering free books where they are most needed. Reading expands our horizons, gives comfort and hope, and helps us make sense of this dark and difficult world and our place on this fragile planet.”
Middleton commented: "Reading is a source of so much more than entertainment, it can be a lifeline for children and adults alike. Books help children escape their four walls and experience a world of imagination and that is more important now than ever. I am delighted that my books and thousands more from other authors will reach adults and children across the country."
Jonathan Douglas, c.e.o. of the National Literacy Trust, added: “This generous donation from HarperCollins will make a huge difference to the families we work with in Blackpool, Manchester and Stoke-on-Trent. Our research shows that children who have books of their own at home have higher levels of mental wellbeing and are more likely to enjoy reading. We hope the HarperCollins books will inspire, provide comfort and entertain during this third lockdown.”