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Topical Tuesdays from The Week Junior – Thousands of Children without Books


A study by the National Literacy Trust has revealed that more than 380,000 children in the UK do not own a single book.

The charity conducted a survey of more than 56,000 children aged between nine and 18, and just over 6% said that they didn’t have any books at home.

As a result, the charity estimates that this is the case for 383,774 children across the country.

The survey found that children who do own a book are six times more likely to read above the expected level for their age, nearly three times more likely to enjoy reading and more than twice as likely to say that reading is cool.

Children from disadvantaged backgrounds were found to be less likely to own a book. However, in the past six years, the gap in book ownership between disadvantaged children and more-advantaged children has halved.

For Christmas, the National Literacy Trust is asking people to donate money to the charity, so they can send books to children.

This PDF resource includes this article, as well as accompanying activity ideas:

  • Debate whether it essential for children to own books? After all, you can borrow books from libraries or read them on electronic devices, both of which save trees. Or do you think that it is important to have books in your house because sometimes you can’t get to a library, and not everyone has electronic devices.
  • Write a review of a good book you have read recently. Remember to say what it is and who wrote it and give a brief summary of the plot before explaining what you thought of it.
  • Write a letter to your favourite author, telling them how much you enjoy their books. Try to add two or three interesting questions to ask the author about either themselves or the characters in their books.
  • What are the UK’s all-time top 10 favourite children’s books? Find some research that has looked into this question and write down the titles and authors of those books. Indicate which ones you have actually read or had read to you.

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