ReadingZone revamps website to hook reluctant readers

ReadingZone revamps website to hook reluctant readers

Children’s books website is relaunching with a new look and additional features to attract reluctant readers, with support from Arts Council England (ACE). 

Building on ReadingZone’s current range of resources to support engaged as well as more reluctant readers, the revamped website will feature book recommendations, reviews, author features, videos and vlogs.  

First launched in 2007, with ACE funding, ReadingZone provides comprehensive information about children’s books and has thousands of members across the UK and Ireland. 

The resource is used in schools and homes nationwide for children and teenagers to browse books, download chapters and discover new authors. Now there will be author videos and young people’s own material featured across the redesigned website. “We wanted to provide space for authors, illustrators and all storytellers to introduce their books themselves as part of the process of bringing books to life for young readers,” said ReadingZone editor Caroline Horn.

ReadingZone has worked with various specialist partners to create resources to encourage children and young people into reading through different media such as book trailers or vlogs, podcasts or audiobooks. The site will share regular tips from specialists including teachers in supporting young readers, together with book recommendations from parents and booksellers who know what children are reading and enjoying.  Other plans include resources to support schools and author events to be added over the coming months.

“With new research [from Farshore and Nielsen Book’s ‘Understanding the Children’s Book Consumer’] confirming that just under a quarter (23%) of children and young people read for pleasure, we all need to find new ways to bring children into reading,” Horn said. “Our aim with the relaunch is to find a way to support children and teenagers who aren’t drawn to reading, as well as supporting children who love to read. Give them a book and find out which platform they want to take the text into. We can celebrate what they create on the ReadingZone website, or they can simply share their work with friends and family."

She added: “We are already working with schools to deliver a regular online Bookclub for author events, and we are exploring other projects to help bring books to life for children and young people.”