World Book Day, the charity behind the world’s biggest celebration of reading for pleasure, in partnership with the National Literacy Trust, teamed up with Read Manchester, Manchester Libraries and Manchester Airport to bring Share a Story Live to the city.
The free event saw six of the UK’s best-loved children’s authors and illustrators bring books to life for 700 Manchester school children under the wings of Concorde at Runway Visitor Park on World Book Day, 7 March.
For the first time, World Book Day 2019 brought its Share a Story Live tour to four communities across the UK where low levels of literacy are seriously impacting people’s lives: Manchester, Dundee, Bradford and Swindon. The National Literacy Trust works in each of these areas to bring together local businesses, health, education and cultural organisations to help tackle literacy challenges in the community.
World Book Day’s Share a Story Live event in Manchester was led by Read Manchester, a campaign from Manchester City Council and the National Literacy Trust to promote reading and boost literacy throughout the city.
World Book Day’s diverse line-up of award-winning authors and illustrators rallied 700 local children and young people around the excitement of sharing stories - live on stage. Compèred by Steven Butler, the Roald Dahl Funny Prize shortlisted children’s author, actor and playwright, the event boasted a stellar line up:
- Best-selling author of The Christmasaurus, Tom Fletcher
- Creator of the How to Train your Dragon franchise, Cressida Cowell
- World Book Day’s official illustrator for 2019 and Waterstones Children’s Book Prize winner, Rob Biddulph
- Two best-selling World Book Day 2019 authors, Alex T. Smith (Claude: Best In Show) and Abi Elphinstone (Everdark)
Following the event, every child took home three incredible new books to continue their reading journey. In partnership with WHSmith, every child was able to exchange their free £1 World Book Day book token on the day for one of 12 exciting World Book Day titles. Kiely Bros also provided every child with a £5 National Book Token in order to redeem a signed book by one of the six authors and illustrators headlining the event. Finally, Manchester Airport also gifted a copy of their Reach for the Skies!
World Book Day 2019 authors, Alex T. Smith and Abi Elphinstone, also hosted assemblies at local primary schools later in the day and as part of Read Manchester, Steven Butler also performed to 400 children at Central Library on Friday 8 March.
Jonathan Douglas, Director, National Literacy Trust, said: “We are thrilled to partner with World Book Day to bring the magic of stories to life in Manchester, where we work with local partners to transform lives through literacy. When families share stories at home and children enjoy reading, they do better at school and in later life. We must do everything we can to inspire children to fall in love with reading for a lifetime. We can’t wait for World Book Day!”