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50,000 free books gifted to children most in need this summer as part of the Marcus Rashford Book Club

This summer term, 50,000 school children across the country are participating in the Marcus Rashford Book Club, and receiving a free book to take home, as well as classroom activities and a chance to experience a virtual author event.

This summer’s chosen book is the second instalment of Marcus Rashford’s #1 best-selling children’s fiction series, The Breakfast Club Adventures, co-written with Alex Falase-Koya and illustrated by Marta Kissi, published by Macmillan Children’s Books.

The Marcus Rashford Book Club was launched in 2021 by Marcus Rashford and Macmillan Children’s Books and aims to gift free books to children who need them the most. Support from KPMG UK and the National Literacy Trust has resulted in 125,000 books being gifted to primary schools in the UK’s most economically deprived areas meaning each child owns a book of their own.

Marcus Rashford read his first book aged seventeen and credits this with changing his outlook on life, having been raised in a household that struggled financially. This first-hand experience highlighted to him the importance of making books accessible to children living in the most disadvantaged areas and inspired the Book Club.

Research from the National Literacy Trust shows that reading for pleasure can positively affect a child’s mental well-being, and can set them up with the literacy skills they need to succeed. Having a book of your own at home is strongly linked to reading engagement, but sadly half a million children and young people (1 in 15) in the UK do not have a book of their own at home. This figure rises for children eligible for free school meals, with as many as 1 in 10 not owning a book. By giving children a book of their own, the programme aims to increase literacy rates and reading enjoyment, which can have a huge impact on the future lives of the children involved, including better job prospects and higher lifetime earnings. 

The Breakfast Club Adventures 2: The Ghoul in the School is co-authored by England International footballer, anti-food poverty campaigner and award-winning author Marcus Rashford MBE, and author Alex Falase-Koya, with illustrations by Marta Kissi. The second book in The Breakfast Club Adventuresseries is an exciting story full of fantastic friendships, high-stakes mysteries and strange goings-on, perfect for children aged 8-12.

Any school can join in with the Marcus Rashford Book Club through a free, virtual event with Alex Falase-Koya on Wednesday 28th June, 10.30am, and by downloading the free school resources and first chapter of The Breakfast Club Adventures: Ghoul in the School.

Pippa, Y6 pupil from Middlesbrough whose school is participating in the Marcus Rashford Book Club:

“It’s really nice that we got these books for free because not everyone can afford books. Being a part of the Marcus Rashford Book Club has inspired me so much that I read stories to the children in Year 1.”

Jason Vit, Head of Local Areas at the National Literacy Trust: 

“At the National Literacy Trust, we know first-hand the huge effect reading for pleasure can have on a child’s literacy skills. The Marcus Rashford Book Club gives us an opportunity to inspire a love of reading in some of the most economically disadvantaged areas of the UK, not just by giving out free copies of this fantastic book, but also by showing how reading has influenced a role mode like Marcus Rashford. With half a million children in the UK reporting they do not have access to books of their own at home, partnerships like this are more important than ever. We hope the 50,000 children we are reaching this summer will not just love the exciting adventures in The Breakfast Club, but that this will inspire them to seek out new books that will engage and spark their imaginations.” 

Belinda Ioni Rasmussen, MD Macmillan Children’s Books:
 We are delighted to continue our work with the National Literacy Trust and KPMG, UK on the Marcus Rashford Book Club this summer and get thousands of books to some of the most vulnerable children in the UK. With the rise in child poverty, the purpose of the Marcus Rashford Book Club, to get exciting and inclusive books to children to  support them in their reading journey, is more important now than ever”

Rachel Hopcroft CBE, partner and head of corporate affairs at KPMG UK:
“As a firm, we’re determined to drive opportunity in our communities, ensuring that where you’re from or your background does not dictate your life chances. We want to support the next generation to develop the skills they need to succeed, and we recognise that literacy is a key building block of social mobility. We’re thrilled to be working alongside Marcus Rashford, Macmillan Children’s Books, and the National Literacy Trust this summer, helping even more children experience the joy of reading.”

To find out more about the Marcus Rashford Book Club titles, and for free classroom resources and information about the virtual event, visit Marcus Rashford Book Club | National Literacy Trust.

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