The power of a book


One in three disadvantaged children across the UK has fewer than ten books of their own at home*, and one in ten has none.

The Children’s Book Project seeks to tackle book poverty and to give every child the opportunity to own their own book. We believe in empowering children to choose a book they are motivated to read and in the power of reading communities. We put on book gifting events that are inclusive, joyful and have a tangible impact on every family that participates.

Poverty is by no means the only reason for a lack of books in many homes. Lack of time, negative experiences as a child or lack of confidence about their own reading skills or book choices can all undermine a family’s propensity to own books.


Book ownership has been directly linked with improved mental health amongst children and a greater propensity to read for pleasure, whilst reading fluency itself has a significant impact on children’s successful progression through education. By age eleven, there is a 12-month language development gap between children from book rich homes books and those with fewer than ten books*. Our aim is to tackle the attainment gap arising from low book ownership. We want every child to feel part of their reading community and to identify with books that they have enjoyed.


We work closely with women’s groups, children’s centres, prisons and schools to gift gently used books to children nationwide, forging links with settings whose communities may benefit most from access to free books.

In every instance we work with a provider to help them plan the most creative and enjoyable book gifting event.


This year we will gift over 350,000 books to children via their schools and settings. The vast majority of these come from families happy to find new homes for the books their children have grown out of.

Please consider donating any new or gently used children’s books to us via one of our Book Hubs nationwide or by hosting a collection on our behalf. We will help to ensure that your gifted books are placed directly into the hands of those families that will benefit most.
*’Book ownership in 2022’ © National Literacy Trust 2022