Middlesbrough Reads and World Book Day celebrate reading for pleasure with special guest HRH The Duchess of Cornwall

  • Virtual celebration event filmed in Middlesbrough features three £1 World Book Day authors: Tom Fletcher, Zanib Mian and Katherine Rundell
  • The special guest is HRH The Duchess of Cornwall
  • Pre-recorded event is one of the many ways Middlesbrough Reads is celebrating World Book Day 2021

Thursday, 4 March – World Book Day and , a campaign from the National Literacy Trust, have created a virtual celebration of books and reading featuring special guest HRH The Duchess of Cornwall. This is thanks to the partnership between World Book Day, the National Literacy Trust and Oak National Academy.

The pre-recorded event shows the joy of pupils from Acklam Whin Primary School, Middlesbrough, as they received a surprise visit from Her Royal Highness and three £1 World Book Day authors*: Tom Fletcher, Zanib Mian and Katherine Rundell. Acklam Whin has remained open throughout the third lockdown as it supports the children of key workers in nearby James Cook University Hospital.

Pupils were able to ask the much-loved children’s authors questions about where they get their creative writing inspiration, what they enjoy the most about World Book Day and which character they’d most like to bring to life.

The video will be free to enjoy for children, parents and teachers across the country via the Oak National Academy Virtual School Library from 9.30am on Thursday 4 March. Pupils in Middlesbrough and beyond can also access a package of World Book Day activities to help them choose how to spend their £1 book tokens, which are being distributed in schools.

Elsewhere, Middlesbrough Reads celebrated World Book Day by gifting nearly 14,000 World Book Day books across the town, including a copy of Tom Fletcher’s There’s a Wolf to every child under 6 and Gigantosaurus by Jonny Duddle for every child in Year 2.

Allison Potter, Middlesbrough Reads Hub Manager says:
“I was thrilled that Acklam Whin was chosen by World Book Day and Oak National Academy as the location for this incredible virtual celebration event – and I know the pupils couldn’t believe their luck at (digitally) meeting the special guest HRH The Duchess of Cornwall and the three £1 World Book Day authors. Their joy shines through the screen, and it certainly highlights Middlesbrough’s love of World Book Day to children and families across the country. The video is the icing on the cake, as we also received a remarkably generous donation of thousands of books.”

Cassie Chadderton, Chief Executive of World Book Day says:
“What better way to begin our day of celebrations for World Book Day than this special event with Acklam Whin! We’re delighted to have the support of HRH The Duchess of Cornwall, and to be working with our £1 authors, Oak National Academy and the National Literacy Trust to bring this event to children and families in Middlesbrough, and wherever they are this year. World Book Day celebrates the power of reading for pleasure and the improved life chances it brings – that’s now more important than ever.”

Jonathan Douglas CBE, Chief Executive of the National Literacy Trust says:
World Book Day is one the highlights of our year. It has a huge impact on reading for pleasure: 3 in 5 primary children told us last year’s World Book Day encouraged them to read more and it inspired over half of respondents to talk more about books with their family and friends.

“Our Patron, HRH The Duchess of Cornwall, has supported our Literacy Hub in Middlesbrough since it was established in 2013. We’re so grateful to Her Royal Highness for promoting the power of a great book, including her involvement in this video. It sets the tone for a brilliant World Book Day 2021.”