Give a book to a child…

Desert Island Collection - Top 24 - Books

Image by Feuillu via Flickr

The post I wrote about Michael Gove’s policy idea around ensuring children of 11 read 50 books a year had an overwhelming response. Thank you for the comments and the pingbacks and being generous with your time. I had more visits in two days than I’ve had to my blog over a year.

Many of the commenters talked of one book that stayed with them for many many years, one book that inspired them, one book that they treasure above all others.

I’ve been turning this idea over and over in my head and trying to find a way to do something positive with the energy and thoughts about these special books.

I volunteer with Greenbelt Festival ( as their literature coordinator ( Every year I get to book authors and speakers who have inspired me, stirred my emotions and fired my imagination. It’s an honour to introduce the speakers to Greenbelt and Greenbelt to the speakers. Greenbelt is a fertile space for me as it’s a collision of faith, social justice and the arts.

Here’s where you come in, dear reader. If you could give any book to a child/young/small person, what would you give them?
I’d like to host the biggest kids book giveaway the festival has ever seen. I’d like to be able to give the children who come to the festival books to inspire them, fire their imaginations, delight them, scare them and feed their souls.

Does this sound like a good idea? Sound like something you’d like to be involved in? All you’d need to do is buy a copy of the book you have in mind and drop it in the post to:

Ben Whitehouse, Literature Programme, Greenbelt Festival, 83 London Wall, London, UK, EC2M 5ND

(Don’t send us your precious heirloom copy, send us something new so it can become someone elses heirloom)

Don’t want to post the book? Come to the festival to the literature venue on Friday and we’ll give away the books we receive on your behalf during the weekend.

Gallery | This entry was posted in Ben Whitehouse, books, Brain Crack, Education, greenbelt, writing and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Give a book to a child…

  1. I live in Canada, so I don’t know how cost effective it would be for me to send a book over to the UK, but I think that is a great idea.
    When I was teaching there was a program to give a book to every child in the poorer schools who likely would not get a book any other way. It was my privelege to match up my students with books, and the look of delight on their faces when told that they had “won” a book was wonderful.

  2. si says:

    i’m in!
    maybe for overseas donators you could get them to buy it via – i think that if you link to there from the festival website greenbelt get some commission too? just a thought…

    i’m off to think about what book to give now. maybe ‘the red tree’ by shaun tan…

  3. LL says:

    Brill idea.

    Well done.

  4. Pingback: » Blog Archive » Post-Greenbelt waffle

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s