HarperCollins is working with the Reading Agency on its Summer Reading Challenge, with Collins donating 260,000 books.
The books will be included in packs distributed by Arts Council England as part of its National Lottery-funded Let’s Create programme to food banks, charities and community hubs. An additional 240,000 packs are being sent out to organisations such as the Variety Children’s Hospital at King’s College Hospital, Give A Book and Civic, which will help distribute them to families who need them most.
The Summer Reading Challenge, run by The Reading Agency and delivered nationally through partnership with public libraries, launched this year on a new digital platform in response to social distancing measures.
To support the libraries’ digital offering, HarperCollins will also be providing them with over 50 children’s titles, to loan via their e-book lending schemes for free, with no limit to the number of times the books can be loaned during July and August.
Authors whose titles feature on the list include Michael Morpurgo, David Walliams, Derek Landy, Lauren Child, and Summer Reading Challenge ambassadors David Baddiel and Ben Fogle.
Fiona Allen, communications director at HarperCollins, said: “The Summer Reading Challenge is one of our favourite events in the year – it’s fun, engaging and achievable and has helped countless kids experience the wonder of books. HarperCollins is always delighted to support the challenge, but this year when so many children have not been able to read at school or in libraries it is more important than ever. So we are donating digital books, at no cost to libraries, so that children can access books throughout the summer through the library e-lending scheme. We are also delighted that, through our donation of 260,000 books, kids that are not able to access digital books can also participate in the Summer Reading Challenge.”
The annual Summer Reading Challenge aims to motivate four to 11-year-olds to read six or more books during the summer holidays, with collectable incentives and rewards, plus a certificate for every child who completes the challenge.