CEO Diana Gerald: Finding the right book for every child
I'm really delighted to be able to share the news this week that children's author Phil Earle is BookTrust's new Writer in Residence.
Phil is a fantastic writer for children and young adults who, like us, passionately believes that everyone can be a reader, given the right books. (I'm proud to say that Phil's novel Heroic was also shortlisted for the BookTrust Best Book Awards Best Story for 12-14s in 2014 and The Bubble Wrap Boy is in our current School Library Pack selection).
However, football fan Phil was not a keen reader as a child, and it was the right book that made him as enthusiastic about books as he was about Hull City FC. Often at BookTrust we hear from children, (or their parents and teachers) that it was particular books that inspired them to read. It was something funny, anarchic, exciting; it was the Dr Who Character Encylcopedia because of its brilliant illustrations and detailed facts about the monsters and aliens in the Dr Who universe; it was Children's Laureate Chris Riddell's Goth Girl and the Fete Worse Than Death because of the fantastic illustrations and the in-joke references to celebrity chefs, or (in Phil's case) it was Marvel's dark and dramatic Daredevil comic book. For me it was my dad's shelf of Isaac Asimov science fiction books.
So much of what we do in our book gifting programmes is about choosing the right books for the children that receive them, whether it's looked after children with The Letterbox Club or children starting secondary school with the Bookbuzz programme. We believe that the right book is just as likely to be nonfiction, a comic or graphic novel, or a book inspired by a favourite TV show as much as a picture book (Rod Campbell's Dear Zoo is a favourite in our house) or a classic series.
Any book that inspires children to read is the right one, and BookTrust is dedicated to helping children, parents and teachers make that important discovery. I will therefore be looking forward to Phil's blogs, vlogs, Twitter chats - and, hopefully, an exciting school event - as he shares his passion and expertise for finding the right books with us all.
Watch Phil's first Writer in Residence vlog