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News story

A book for Christmas for every school child in Hastings!

16 Dec 2019

Thousands of books are going to out to pupils in December.jpg

Hastings children will experience the joy of receiving their very own book for Christmas this year, thanks to Bloomsbury and our Literacy Hub in Hastings.

More than 9,000 brand new Bloomsbury books are currently winging their way to Hastings school children - from reception to Year 9 (ages 5-14) - over the next month in time for the festive season!

For many children, this may be the first book they have ever owned, as our research shows that 1 in 11 children and young people in Hastings do not own a book.

Graeme Quinnell, Manager of the Hastings Literacy Hub, visited pupils at West St Leonards Primary Academy this week for a special assembly and to help give out their books. He was joined by Dave the reading dog from the Pets As Therapy charity, who regularly joins the children for group reading activities.

Children will be able to choose from a fantastic range of fiction and non-fiction books published by Bloomsbury, including The Restless Girls by Jessie Burton, Paper Towns by John Green, Max Champion and the Great Race Car by Alexander McCall Smith and Odd and the Frost Giants by Neil Gaiman and Chris Riddell.

We are also launching a festive writing competition, challenging primary school pupils in Years 3 to 6 (aged 7-11) to write a seasonal short story set in Hastings. Pupils will be in with the chance to win signed books, signed illustrations and other book-themed goodies for themselves, plus book bundles and merchandise for their school library.

Writing tips and the downloadable competition entry sheet can be found here. The competition will close on Friday 10 January 2020 and will be judged by Hannah Rolls, Editorial Director of Children's Education at Bloomsbury.

Alice absolutely loved her book … she asked us to read it with her at least once every day for two weeks! We really appreciated the gift and Alice loved it!


We are so excited to be working with Bloomsbury to gift this huge Christmas present to children in Hastings! We know that children who have books of their own enjoy reading more, do better at school and are happier with their lives, so we want to make sure that every child in Hastings gets the chance to go on a reading adventure with their very own book over the festive season.

Graeme Quinnell, Manager of the National Literacy Trust Hub in Hastings

The partnership between our Literacy Hub in Hastings and Bloomsbury Publishing launched this summer with a town-wide ‘Drop Everything and Read’ event on Friday 12 July.

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