Manchester City Council has put the scheme together, to promote a love of reading amongst children and their kids.
The book give-away – a partnership between charity World Book Day®, Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM), the National Literacy Trust (NLT) and Manchester City Council – saw thousands of free reads placed on tram seats at the crack of dawn and sent on their way from tram depots, ready to be picked up by commuters of all ages as they make their way into school, college, or work.
The books were free for all passengers to take home on every seat of the first morning trams, with a special bookmark to help encourage the reading for pleasure habit amongst commuters and the children.
The read, ride, and take-home literary giveaway will put thousands of specially produced World Book Day® books into the hands of the city’s children and young people.
And it’s not just kids who were treated either.
There was also a selection of books for adults placed on the seats too.
The goal, says the Council, is to spread a love of reading amongst all ages.
If you’re quick, you can also snag a free book from outside three of the city libraries: Central Library in St Peter’s Square, Abraham Moss Library, and the Forum Library in Wythenshawe.
Manchester has been chosen by the World Book Day Charity to host fourteen authors across the city whose books written especially for the occasion are being given away across the country.
Authors L.D. Lapinski and A.M. Dassu have spent this morning in Manchester riding the trams with children and young people and visiting schools to give pupils an insight into their stories, writing, and the world of an author.
More than 300 children from five primary schools in the city also visited Central Library during the day for a special ‘meet the author’ session with award-winning author Hannah Gold, winner of the Blue Peter Book Award 2022 for her book ‘The Lost Bear’.
Councillor Adele Douglas, Deputy Executive Member for Employment, Skills, and Leisure, Manchester City Council said: “We take reading for pleasure very seriously here in Manchester and want all our children and young people to grow up loving a good read.
“Research shows that reading literally can change lives, and what better day to champion and celebrate this than on World Book Day?
“So, whether you’re on a tram, sitting at home, or out and about in one of our libraries, pick up a book and see where it takes you!”
Today’s free book giveaway on the trams is the second time that partners TfGM have teamed up with city bosses to help boost reading levels in the city and follows a hugely successful read-and-ride giveaway pre-pandemic back in 2017.
Danny Vaughan, TfGM’s Head of Metrolink, said: “We’re very pleased to be supporting partners in marking World Book Day in a very unique way in Manchester, and we can’t wait to welcome pupils and authors onto Metrolink throughout the day as part of the celebrations.
“Travelling on public transport can be a good time for customers of all ages to catch up on some reading, and I hope everyone enjoys the books that will be left for them on the trams today.”
Cassie Chadderton, Chief Executive at World Book Day® said: “At World Book Day®, we want all families, children and young people to have the opportunity to discover a love of reading. Fun reading experiences are at the heart of helping children and young people become lifelong readers and setting them up for future success.
“We’re delighted to be working with our partners in Manchester to help make sure families, children and young people in the city have access to our World Book Day® books and develop a lifelong habit of reading for pleasure. Just a short time spent reading together as a family can have a major impact on how children view reading.
“We can’t wait to see how families across Manchester make this year’s World Book Day® their own.”
Since 2016 Manchester City Council has been working in partnership with the National Literacy Trust on Read Manchester – a campaign to boost literacy levels in the city through reading for pleasure.
Having a book of your own is vital to sparking a lifelong love of reading, but National Literacy Trust research shows that 500,000 children in the UK -1 in 15 children – say they don’t have a book of their own at home.
Jason Vit, Head of Local Areas at the National Literacy Trust said: “At the National Literacy Trust, we’re committed to making sure every child can discover the joys of reading.
“Our research found that having books at home is linked to the higher reading frequency and reading enjoyment among children, and yet over 500,000 children in the UK aged 8 – 18 said that they don’t own a single book of their own at home.
“We’re proud to be working with our friends at World Book Day®, Manchester City Council, and Transport for Greater Manchester to help address this situation and get free books into the hands of children who need them the most.”
World Book Day® author L.D. Lapinski’s book for children ‘ StrangeWorlds Travel Agency: Adventure in the Floating Mountains’ tells the story of the once-every-century Cloud-Wish Festival in the magical world of Strofadia, of children Flick and Jonathan who have travelled there from the Strangeworlds Travel Agency via suitcase to be a part of it, and the part they end up playing in trying to save the festival from disaster.
Aimed at older readers, World Book Day® author A.M. Dassu’s book ‘Boot It’ with its central characters Sami and Ali who dream of playing for the school football team, is a powerful story of friendship and booting out racism.
World Book Day’s specially commissioned £1/€1.50 titles are also available for free to all children in exchange for a £1/€1.50 book token. Families can find a participating retailer here: https://www.worldbookday.com/participating-retailers/