Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Getting books to kids at Christmas

Any books in these parcels?
I don't need to tell readers of this blog about the joy of books and the importance of getting children reading, nor that many children do not have the advantages of growing up in a house full of books or with parents that take them to libraries. Libraries, are of course, very important - for one of the best, recent arguments of this, read Jeanette Winterson's impassioned piece in the Guardian - but there's something wonderful about holding a book that you actually own, especially if it's your first. I've come across a couple of initiatives that aim to put books in the hands of children who otherwise wouldn't have any this Christmas.

Books for Kids for Christmas is linked to the charity Children First.
Last year they raised over £3300 to buy books for vulnerable Scottish children at Christmas, as a result of which 380 children and young people received a book of their very own from Santa. The appeal runs until Sunday 2nd December. Nicola Morgan writes about Blackwell's Children's Book Tree - you can join in by phone if you don't live in Edinburgh, Oxford or Cambridge where they have branches - from which you choose a request from a child in difficult circumstances, and that child receives the book for Christmas. These are just two ideas - Zoe at Playing by the Book lists 125 book and literacy charities and, going off the book topic altogether, did you know that John Lewis has a gift list so that children in refuges get Christmas presents? List no 522953.

Happy giving!

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