Today I have been in correspondence with the UK organisation Read for Good, who have been motivating children to enjoy reading through their tailor-made programmes in schools, hospitals and communities. I was keen to offer my help as a children’s author, so I arranged to send a full box of approximately 70 copies of my brand-new picture book, The Problem with Poppy. These books will be distributed in hospitals, schools and hospices across the UK and will hopefully cheer up many children for years to come. I was told by Read for Good today that the children in hospitals always look forward to when the bookcase is brought to their bedside, and it’s heartwarming and exciting for me to know that my book will be included.

Countless studies show that a love of reading at an early age changes lives, from educational outcomes to social mobility and emotional well-being. Read for Good has run Readathon in UK schools since 1984, motivating pupils to read for fun. Their sponsored Readathons in schools have engaged millions of children in reading for pleasure. They provide books and stories for children in hospital and schools throughout the UK.

For children in hospital, books and stories are vital – they comfort, reassure, distract and entertain. Read for Good provides a regular supply of brand new books and resident Storyteller visits to brighten the days of children in all 30 of the UK’s major children’s hospitals.

Due to Covid-19, it was vital that the books I sent are sealed and unopened to eliminate the risk of infection, so I arranged with my publisher Full Media to distribute a full box of books to Read for Good, mere days after receiving them from the printers. I would like to thank Read for Good for allowing me the opportunity to help children in this small way. I have also entered into an agreement with the organisation to donate one full box of my future books, which includes the two remaining books in the Sumatran Trilogy, What’s Troubling Tawny? and Hooray for Heidi!