Read for My School

Read For My School logo

Read for My School is the national schools reading competition from The Pearson Foundation and Booktrust, with support from the Department for Education.


Reading for pleasure is at the heart of the initiative, which aims to generate excitement about books and cultivate long-lasting positive attitudes towards reading.


In its first year (2013) Read for My School invited all children in Years 5 and 6 attending English primary schools to read as many books as they could from  January to  March. Over 400,000 books were read by over 100,000 participants in 3,675 schools. In 2014 the competition was expanded to include years 3 and 4, and a secondary school pilot in years 7 and 8. More  than 200,000 children took part, and over 850,000 books were read as part of this year's competition. The competition is now closed until next year.


Read for My School is:

  • free for primary and secondary schools in England
  • open to classes in years 3 and 4; 5 and 6; and 7 and 8


Children who attend participating schools are encouraged to:

  • read as much as they can
  • explore a variety of genres and formats
  • make their own choices as readers
  • recommend titles to friends
  • submit a written piece about the power of reading and giving


The competitive element of the programme is designed to:

  • be fun and motivate children of all abilities, with a variety of interests, to read for pleasure
  • give children the opportunity to read and write their way to rewards for themselves and their schools


All participating schools were:

  • given exclusive access to an online library of titles which their pupils can read for free on the competition website.
  • able to download a list of Recommended Reads for Years 3 and 4, and 5 and 6, from a variety of publishers, which teachers can encourage their pupils to look for at home and in their school or local library or bookshop.



Jeremy Strong, children's author and 2014 Read for My School ambassador: 

I'm really lucky that my work as a children's author takes me into schools up and down the country. And what always strikes me when I talk to children that read a lot is that they do so because it's fun. I wouldn't sell many books if children were only reading because it was useful or because they'd been told to by their teacher. Read for My School is a brilliant initiative because it's based on the idea that the more you enjoy reading - the more it inspires you, makes you guffaw, or cry, or exclaim, or scratch your head - the more you'll want to read.

Viv Bird, Chief Executive, Booktrust:

Over the years Booktrust's national schools programmes and resources have proved to be invaluable in helping pupils become enthusiastic and confident readers, so critical for their personal and educational development. With the launch of Read for My School, we have the chance to build on that success and really crack the challenge of helping all children to enjoy reading.

 Find out more about the 2014 regional events


Visit the Read For My School website


Recommended Reads

In 2014, in addition to the 100 books that were available to read online on the Read for My School website, we also provided a list of carefully selected Recommended Reads for Years 3 and 4, and 5 and 6, which teachers could use to encourage their pupils to seek out in their local library or book shop.


1. Historical Fiction
A Twist of Fortune, Barbara Mitchelhill (Andersen Press)
Diary of Dorkius Maximus, Tim Collins (Buster Books)
Maisie Hitchins: The Case of the Stolen Sixpence, Holly Webb & Marion Lindsay (Stripes Publishing)
Red River Stallion, Troon Harrison (Bloomsbury)
Stay Where You Are and Then Leave, John Boyne (Doubleday)
The Amazing Tale of Ali Pasha, Michael Foreman (Templar)
Find book trailers, extracts and more here


2. Mystery & Horror
Liar and Spy, Rebecca Stead (Andersen Press)

Shadows of The Silver Screen, Christopher Edge (Nosy Crow)

Stitch Head: The Spider's Lair, Guy Bass (Stripes Publishing)
Lockwood and Co: The Screaming Staircase, Jonathan Stroud (Doubleday)
The Woebegone Twins, Christopher William Hill (Orchard Books)

Young Werewolf, Cornelia Funke and David Roberts, Ills. (Barrington Stoke)


Find book trailers, extracts and more here
3. Humour
Darcy Burdock, Laura Dockrill (Corgi)
Fortunately, the Milk, Neil Gaiman and Chris Riddell (Bloomsbury)
Granny Samurai, the Monkey King & I, John Chambers (Walker Books)
I am Not a Loser, Jim Smith (Egmont, Jelly Pie)
The Dragonsitter Takes Off, Josh Lacey and Garry Parsons, ills. Garry Parsons (Andersen Press)

Wings & Co: Three Pickled Herrings, Sally Gardner and David Roberts, Ills. (Orion Children's Books)



Find book trailers, extracts and more here

4. Adventure
Dear Scarlett, Fleur Hitchcock (Nosy Crow)
Ninja: Death Touch, Chris Bradford and Sonia Leong (Barrington Stoke)
Jedi Academy, Jeffrey Brown (Scholastic UK)
The Battles of Ben Kingdom: The Claws of Evil, Andrew Beasley (Usborne Publishing)
The Last Wild, Piers Torday (Quercus Books)
The Terrible Thing That Happened to Barnaby Brocket, John Boyne (Corgi)
Find book trailers, extracts and more here

5. Animals & The Wild
The Hungry Wolf, Lari Don and Melanie Williamson (Barefoot Books)
The Queen & Mr Brown: A Day for Dinosaurs, James Francis Wilkins (The Natural History Museum, London)
DFC Library: Vern and Lettuce, Sarah McIntyre (David Fickling Books)
A Rivets short story: War Dog, Chris Ryan (Franklin Watts)
Whale Boy, Nicola Davies (Corgi)
Dixie O' Day in the Fast Lane, Shirley Hughes and Clara Vulliamy, ills. (Bodley Head)
Find book trailers, extracts and more here

6. Science fiction & Fantasy
Goth Girl: and the Ghost of a Mouse, Chris Riddell (Macmillan Children's Books)
Out of This World, Ali Sparkes (Oxford University Press)
The Dark is Rising, Susan Cooper (Red Fox)
The Demon Notebook, Erika McGann (The O'Brien Press)
The Winter Sleepwalker and other Stories, Joan Aiken (Jonathan Cape)
Sky Run, Alex Shearer (Hot Key Books)

Find book trailers, extracts and more here

7. Film & TV
How to Betray a Dragon's Hero, Cressida Cowell (Hodder Children's Books)
Pig Heart Boy, Malorie Blackman (Corgi)
The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, John Boyne (David Fickling)
Framed, Frank Cottrell Boyce (Macmillan Children's Books)
Feather Boy, Nicky Singer (HarperCollins)
MirrorMask, Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean (Bloomsbury)

Find book trailers, extracts and more here

8. Non-fiction
Deadly Diaries, Steve Backshall (Orion Children's Books)
Malorie Blackman Biography, Verna Wilkins (Tamarind Books)
The Secrets of Stonehenge, Mick Manning and Brita Granström (Frances Lincoln Children's Books)
Why Spacemen Can't Burp, Mitchell Symons (Doubleday)
The Barefoot Books World Atlas, Nick Crane and David Dean, ills. (Barefoot Books)
Marvellous Maths, Jonathan Litton and Thomas Flintham, ills. (Templar Publishing)


Find book trailers, extracts and more here

Download the full list of Recommended Reads for 2014

Visit the Read For My School website to find out more