Pan Macmillan is giving away 20,000 free copies of Marcus Rashford's book,You Are A Champion, following a wave of crowdfunding campaigns that sprang up this week after the Euro 2020 final.
The giveaway of the book, written with Carl Anka, is on top of the 50,000 Marcus Rashford Book Club books the publishier has already gifted in its partnership with the England and Machester United star.
In the wake of England's defeat on penalties to Italy at the weekend which saw racist abuse aimed at Rashford and his team mates, several campaigns have been organised across the country, raising money to give copies of his books to children.
Among them were campaigns organised by Book-ish in Crickhowell, Wales, MirrorMeWrite in Manchester, working alongside children’s author Louise Gooding, Gullivers Bookshop in Wimborne Minster, Winstone’s Hunting Raven Bookshop in Frome, and the Newham Bookshop in London.
Vivian Archer at the Newham Bookshop said: “I am overwhelmed by the generosity of people who have donated over £1,000 to get his book to local children. One person who bid for a signed copy said he will donate that to a child who could be inspired to go onto great things. Thank you Marcus.”
Pan Macmillan said that crowdfunding bookshops can contact the company before the end of July and it will send a matching number of books to their chosen schools to supplement their work. Booksellers should contact Alyx Price, associate publisher at Macmillan Children’s Books (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Belinda Ioni Rasmussen, m.d. of Macmillan Children’s Books, said: “Marcus is an inspirational young man and his book speaks directly to children and young people, reinforcing the message that you can be whatever and whoever you want to be, regardless of your background. It is wonderful to see how our industry has pulled together to take positive action to support Marcus Rashford and his message of hope, and we are delighted today to be adding support to the campaigns that have been launched in the last few days.”
In May, W H Smith, the National Literacy Trust (NLT) and Macmillan Children’s Books (MCB) launched a partnership to gift a copy of You Are A Champion for every copy sold by the retailer. The copies are being distributed via NLT hubs, which work to tackle literacy issues in communities at a local level across the UK.
In June, MCB and Rashford launched the Marcus Rashford Book Club, a collaboration with the aim of helping children aged eight to 12 to develop a love of reading and literacy as a life skill. For the launch, MCB donated 50,000 copies of the first book club selection, A Dinosaur Ate My Sister by Pooja Puri and illustrated by Allen Fatimaharan, through charity Magic Breakfast.