Sir Michael Morpurgo: Why I'm supporting Reading Together

Published on: 17 January 2024

Our President Sir Michael Morpurgo is supporting our new Reading Together campaign, calling for investment in early years reading.

Along with all of the other Waterstones Children's Laureates, Sir Michael has signed an open letter explaining why this is so important. Here, he shares why he's passionate about the cause...

A photo of Sir Michael Morpurgo

For our children and for us, reading is the great pathway to knowledge and understanding and empathy. We know it to be deeply enriching and fulfilling. This path can take us on a lifelong journey, as new horizons, new possibilities and new notions open up before us.

Books are the good companions who help us on our way, that open eyes and hearts and minds, that help us through good times and bad, help us understand ourselves and others, and the world about us. They provoke and challenge and excite and comfort us.

But we also know that sadly in this country there are still millions of young children who never have the opportunity of finding this pathway.

We know that the earlier we develop the joy and fun of reading in our children, the more likely it is that they will reap the rewards of the fulfilling education they all deserve.

And we know that those children who come from disadvantaged homes are the most likely never to discover the joys and benefits of being readers, of loving books, of fulfilling their aspirations in life, of developing their talents.

These are also the most likely children to be suffering from mental health issues, from lack of self-worth and from family problems at home.

These are the very children who most need to find the pathway to fulfilment and achievement that books can bring.

We are the storytellers, the parents, the families, the teachers, the librarians, the publishers and booksellers, the society, who can help make this happen, at home, at school, in the library, in the hospital, wherever. We can help transform the lives of children everywhere. But we need the Government to lead the way.

So, I am writing to the Government to ask for their commitment in helping all families – whatever their circumstances or challenges – become a reading family.

Let's do it. Let's do it for our children.

Read our open letter

Read our Reading Together open letter, as we join forces with all 12 Waterstones Children's Laureates to call for investment in early years reading.

Discover our four proposals

Get more information about Reading Together, including why shared reading is so important and our action plan to get every family enjoying books together.

Reading Together

Reading Together, Changing Children's Lives is based on decades of experience of working with millions of families and thousands of local partners, including health visitors, nurseries, schools, libraries and food banks.

Discover our four proposals