Publisher HarperCollins is donating 50,000 books to charities and organisations that are helping people through the COVID-19 pandemic. The list of books on offer includes titles from best-selling authors such as Michael Morpurgo, Ant Middleton, and David Walliams, all of which will be given free of charge to those who are most vulnerable during this difficult period.
As The Bookseller reports, HarperCollins has teamed up with the Mayor’s Fund for London’s Kitchen Social programme, the National Literacy Trust, and Glasgow Life to aid the work they do in Manchester, Stoke, Blackpool, Glasgow, and several London boroughs, respectively. This donation is on top of the 360,000-plus books donated last year by the publisher.
The donated books cover all; genres, from learning resources, children’s books, fiction, non-fiction, and even crossword and puzzle books, and will be distributed to those who need them most through youth groups, libraries, food banks, and other hubs of the community over February half-term and into Easter. The donation is part of The Literacy Project, launched by CEO Charlie Redmayne in 2018.
Of the donation, Morpurgo said: “The HarperCollins Literacy Project, hand in hand with the National Literacy Trust and other organisations, are offering free books where they are most needed. Reading expands our horizons, gives comfort and hope, and helps us make sense of this dark and difficult world and our place on this fragile planet.”
Middleton stated: “Reading is a source of so much more than entertainment, it can be a lifeline for children and adults alike. Books help children escape their four walls and experience a world of imagination and that is more important now than ever. I am delighted that my books and thousands more from other authors will reach adults and children across the country.”
CEO of the National Literacy Trust, Jonathan Douglas, said: “This generous donation from HarperCollins will make a huge difference to the families we work with in Blackpool, Manchester, and Stoke-on-Trent. Our research shows that children who have books of their own at home have higher levels of mental wellbeing and are more likely to enjoy reading. We hope the HarperCollins books will inspire, provide comfort and entertain during this third lockdown.”