Recent research by the National Literacy Trust found that almost one in five children between the ages of five and eight does not have a book of their own at home. Unsurprisingly, this figure is an 11.4% increase on pre-pandemic numbers, and is made worse when you consider that one in seven primary schools in the UK does not have a library. Access to books can play a part in children’s long-term futures.
The National Literacy Trust found that the children least engaged with literacy are twice as likely to have low levels of mental wellbeing than their peers. The charity’s Literacy Changes Lives report also found links between areas with literacy problems and lower life-expectancy rates.
“Coming from the publishing industry this, of course, feels like an important issue; after all, where will the next generation of Good Housekeeping readers come from if we don’t encourage reading in children? But it also runs far deeper than this for me and the Good Housekeeping team. In a country where we have a keen levelling-up agenda and where most of us aspire to live in a fair and diverse society, access to books and the opportunity to read is, quite clearly, vital,” says Gaby Huddart, Good Housekeeping editor-in-chief.
If you feel as strongly as we do about the importance of children’s access to books, you’ll be pleased to hear that the National Literacy Trust is our new charity partner for 2023.
Together with our panel of judges, we’ve drawn up a list of 50 books we feel all children need in their lives. And there’s a chance for GH readers to get involved and support the charity to distribute these special reads to children who might not otherwise get a chance to experience them. See the section called ‘Your chance to give a child the joy of books’ at the bottom of the page to find out more.
Must-reads for under 5s
Must reads for 5-7 year olds
Must reads for 7-11 year olds
Must reads for 11-13 year olds
Must reads for 14-16 year olds
Your chance to give a child the joy of books
Every child should have the chance to read these extraordinary stories. We all remember the books that we loved and treasured as children, but this year half a million children across the UK don’t have a book of their own at home.
You could give a child the gift of reading by supporting the National Literacy Trust, whose work in the most disadvantaged areas across the country gives children and families access to books and support their reading, writing, and communication skills. A gift of just £15 could provide a child with books like these and the literacy support they need to change their life story.
To donate please visit literacytrust.org.uk/goodhousekeeping
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