Monday 23rd March 2020


(Photo courtesy of Chris Callaghan, children's author)

Today will see the launch of #Unitedbybooks, a social platform to share children’s reading tips, activities and content to support the millions of families around the UK who will be spending more time at home following the COVID-19 outbreak.

Some of the UK’s leading children’s reading organisations including Coram Beanstalk, BookTrust, Scottish BookTrust and Authorfy, along with much loved authors and illustrators, have all joined forces and pledged their support to share reading tips, tricks, activities, videos and ideas to provide family entertainment at home. New content will be pushed out every week for children from pre-school age all the way up to year 7 or 8.

Ginny Lunn, Coram Beanstalk MD, said: "During these uncertain times we believe it is absolutely vital that children continue to have access to brilliant book-based resources and that we do everything within our power to continue to spread the magic of reading to children everywhere. The book community is full of wonderful authors, illustrators, publishers, booksellers and charities and we are proud to stand with them today and be #UnitedByBooks. We know that as a charity we have challenging times ahead of us, and it is incredibly difficult to come to terms with the fact that our volunteers will not be able to deliver their usual one-to-one reading support in schools until further notice. However, we know that by coming together we have an opportunity to bring so much positivity to children through the wonderful world of books.” 

Diana Gerald, BookTrust CEO, said:We are proud to be able to combine forces with some fantastic UK organisations, authors and illustrators to provide families with some great ideas and much needed distraction during these challenging times. As part of this, BookTrust will be sharing content from our BookTrust Home Time page which launched today. This digital hub, designed to entertain children and families at home, is filled with free books, videos, games, recipes, competitions, quizzes and much more. From activity sheets to live drawalongs, BookTrust Home Time hosts an extraordinary menu of ideas created by our own experts as well as leading children’s authors and illustrators, including Cressida Cowell, Sarah Crossan and Ed Vere.” 

Marc Lambert, Scottish Book Trust CEO, said: "To help parents and carers at home with their children find the brilliant content and resources being shared by authors and illustrators, we're calling on the creative community to tag their videos, webinars and other great stuff with #UnitedByBooks. Because #UnitedByBooks is what we are."  “It is so wonderful to see the brilliant writing community coming together to support young readers, carers and teachers in so many different ways. We are all in this together #UnitedByBooks.” Lisa Thompson, author of 'Goldfish Boy'.

“#UnitedByBooks is a brilliant way of bringing readers, parents, publishers, authors and teachers together to do what we all want to do – to talk together about how glorious reading is.” Tom Palmer, award-winning children's author.

"In a time when 'Where to go?' and 'What to do?' have never felt more massive, the #UnitedByBooks hashtag is a shining signpost directing children of all ages towards reading, distraction and fun. There's no need to feel lost, just get exploring." Steve Cole, Author of the Young Bond series.