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Booktrust changes lives through reading.

Booktrust has a vision of a society where nobody misses out on the life-changing benefits that reading can bring.

We recognise that to engage people with reading we need to adopt multi-stranded approaches - that might include reading aloud, writing about reading experiences, providing other learning resources - in order to effect social change.


Booktrust priorities are working with:

  • Children - because they present the greatest opportunity to change lives
  • Families - because this is the unit for the greatest impact.


Why does Booktrust believe books and reading changes lives?

  • Books can bring lasting benefits, help bond families and transform lives
  • Reading is one of the most effective means of promoting social mobility


Books and reading can increase life chances through:

  • Increased educational outcomes
  • Increased employment opportunities
  • Enhanced social mobility/aspiration


Books and reading improve social and emotional wellbeing through:

  • Improved family attachment and bonding
  • Increased participation in society
  • Improved levels of happiness and confidence


  • Access to books and the ability to read should be a fundamental right for all
  • Books are for everyone regardless of means


Our work matters

Through our programmes we aim to create a society of people who are motivated to read and who see themselves as readers whatever level that might be. We will start at the earliest possible age as we believe children who have an early introduction to books benefit in many ways; educationally, socially, culturally and emotionally. Encouraging parents to share stories, books and rhymes in the early years can help start an introduction into a wide tapestry of knowledge and culture, which can help children understand who they are and the place they have in the world. There is nowhere better than stories for children to take risks, test their courage, face their fears and to indulge their humour. It is a way of growing up in a safe environment, testing out personal feelings and responses through others' experiences.


The Bookstart programme is proven to help children develop language and literacy skills for starting school, while the Letterbox Club has helped to improve the reading and number skills for many children in care. Through our programmes, prizes and book recommendations we're there for children and adult readers alike.


Booktrust inspires everyone to enjoy books, reading and writing and the lifelong benefits that they bring.


crf-chloeThe average deaf teenager leaves school with a reading age of nine.


Chloe was born with a serious hearing impairment. With the help of a specialist pack from Booktrust she has taken an interest in nursery rhymes. It helped her to engage with the rhythm and sounds. She loved the repetition, which helped her understand language. It was really difficult for her when she was first prescribed a hearing aid as she didn't like wearing it, but now she asks to wear it so she can hear all the rhymes. Her focus and concentration have both improved, which will help her at school, and she can't wait to learn to read.


Booktrust give 1,000 Booktouch packs to hearing impaired children annually.

Giving books to children

Booktrust gives books to babies, toddlers, primary and secondary school children. We provide books at crucial stages of their development. Booktrust ensures that every child has the opportunity to experience the delight and power of books.

Books and reading

Want to find a book to read? Whatever your age and whatever type of books you like to read, we can always help you to find something new.

Writers and writing

Writing tips, competitions, Booktrust's online writer in residence and interviews with writers.


From the search to find the best women's fiction to the focus on funny children's books, our prizes and awards celebrate the best writing from the UK and beyond.

Support us

Why do we need your support? Because 40% of young people live in homes containing ten books or fewer. We want to change the story and improve children's life chances.

  • Giving books to children 1
  • Books and reading 2
  • Writers and writing 3
  • Prizes 4
  • Support us 5

Stay in touch

Did you know?

  • 380,000 story booklets are gifted to families during National Bookstart Week each year

Bird's song

Read the latest blog from Viv Bird, Chief Executive at Booktrust, to find out what happens behind the scenes at Booktrust and in the wider sector of reading and writing.