March’s Booklist – Wonder Women

To mark International Women’s Day (8 March) and celebrate the achievements, triumphs and general brilliance of women and girls from around the world, we have created a booklist that tell the stories of wonder women and girls.

Books

  • Gina Kaminski Saves the Wolf by Craig Barr-Green (author), Francis Martin (illustrator)
  • Speak Up! by Nathan Bryon (author), Dapo Adeola (illustrator)
  • The Kindest Red: A Story of Hijab and Friendship by Ibtihaj Muhammad (author), Hatem Aly (illustrator), S. K. Ali (author)
  • Billie Swift Takes Flight by Iszi Lawrence
  • Bridget Vanderpuff and the Baked Escape by Martin Stewart (author), David Habben (illustrator)
  • Into the Dark Forest by Liz Flanagan (author), Joe Todd-Stanton (illustrator)
  • Friendship Never Ends by Alexandra Sheppard
  • Little Bang by Kelly McCaughrain
  • Where the Heart Should Be by Sarah Crossan
  • Diva by Daisy Goodwin
  • How To Say Babylon by Safiya Sinclair
  • The Liverbirds: Our life in Britain’s first female rock ‘n’ roll band by Mary McGlory (author), Sylvia Saunders (author)

Check out the booklist resource to find out more about the books.

Reading Well for teens suggests recommended reading and digital resources to help you understand your feelings and boost your confidence. Teens and health and wellbeing experts have chosen the books to help you manage your emotions and cope with difficult times.

The booklist is targeted at teenagers (13–18) and includes a range of reading levels and formats to support less confident readers and encourage engagement.

Look for the Reading Well for teens books in your local library – they’re free to borrow.

Booklist Categories

Many titles are also available to borrow as e-books and audiobooks. Find out how to join the library and access books, e-books and audiobooks via your local library website.

Our guide to the book collection and digital leaflet are available to download for free. There is also a bilingual digital leaflet for Wales.

For more information on Reading Well for teens please see our FAQ document.

Read our news statement here.

Healthy Minds

Book cover of You Can Change the World!: Everyday Teen Heroes Making a Difference Everywhere

You Can Change the World!: Everyday Teen Heroes Making a Difference Everywhere

Margaret Rooke, Kara McHale, Taylor Richardson, Katie Hodgetts @KTclimate

Book cover of Be Happy Be You: The teenage guide to boost happiness and resilience

Be Happy Be You: The teenage guide to boost happiness and resilience

Penny Alexander, Becky Goddard-Hill, Collins Kids

Managing Feelings

Anxiety and Depression

Book cover of Depression A Book About

Depression (A Book About)

Holly Duhig, Danielle Webster-Jones

Book cover of Hope

Hope

Rhian Ivory

Book cover of My Anxiety Handbook: Getting Back on Track

My Anxiety Handbook: Getting Back on Track

Sue Knowles, Bridie Gallagher, Phoebe McEwen, Emmeline Pidgen

Book cover of Anxiety is Really Strange

Anxiety is Really Strange

Steve Haines, Sophie Standing

Neurodiversity

Book cover of Frankie's World

Frankie’s World

Aoife Dooley, Aoife Dooley

Body Image

Book cover of Being You: The Body Image Book for Boys

Being You: The Body Image Book for Boys

Charlotte Markey, Daniel Hart, Douglas Zacher

Understanding Bereavement and Loss

Book cover of A Monster Calls

A Monster Calls

Patrick Ness, Siobhan Dowd

Learning About Life

Book cover of Booked

Booked

Kwame Alexander

Boost Your Confidence

Surviving Online

Book cover of Social Media Survival Guide

Social Media Survival Guide

Holly Bathie, Kate Sutton, Richard Merritt Illustration, The Boy Fitz Hammond, The Boy Fitz Hammond

Sexuality, Gender Identity and Mental Health

Have you used a Reading Well for teens book? We’d love you to fill in a short survey to tell us how you found it.

Photo of five teenagers sat on a sofa reading various copies of Quick Reads books

What are Quick Reads?

Discover the joy of reading with Quick Reads. Short books and great stories by bestselling authors!  
 
Quick Reads provide a route into reading that prioritises great story telling and adult-focused content while ensuring the books are written in an accessible and easy to read style. The books are written by some of the most popular authors in the UK – including Andy McNab, Jojo Moyes, Anne Cleeves, Ian Rankin and Benjamin Zephaniah – so they can be a brilliant entry point to new genres, authors as well as the spark to reignite or build up the joy of reading.  


 

The Quick Reads programme has collaborated with over 30 publishers to produce a total of 135 titles since 2006 with over 5 million copies distributed and over 6 million library loans. Many are still available to borrow from your public library or buy from The Reading Agency’s bookshop.

We work with public libraries, prisons, colleges, hospitals and adult learning organisations to ensure these books are accessed by those who may find reading difficult as they are a perfect entry point to reading for pleasure. 

Photograph of two older Asian women sat at a table reading Quick Reads books.

This year’s titles – Out Now


Photo of an older man sat at the back of a lorry reading a book.

Get Involved

  • Buy the books through Bookshop.org, Waterstones, or borrow them from your local library. The titles are available in paperback, ebook, and audiobook!  
  • Libraries can order Quick Reads from your usual library supplier such as Askews or Gardners and the Ebook and audiobooks from Overdrive or BorrowBox.  
  • You can access accompanying learning resources, book group discussion guides and promotional materials on our resources database.
  • Quick Reads are perfect for supporting the Reading Ahead programme either as reading material or to use as rewards and incentives.  

Quick Reads are an extremely valuable tool for boosting reading skills, confidence and engagement in learning. They can act as an entry point to different authors’ work in diverse genres, and have led to thousands of adults reading, completing and enjoying a book for the first time.

Our long-term goal is to build a nation of readers by getting Quick Reads into every home in the UK!  

Three icons of people. One of the icons is white, the other two are navy.

1 in 3 adults in the UK do not regularly read for pleasure.

A line illustration of a head with a scribble inside.

Non-readers are 28% more likely to report feelings of depression.

Quick Reads 2024 are out now!

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How To Get into Reading

If you’re someone who has always wanted to get into reading but didn’t know where to start, you’re in the right place! Read our tips to unlock the joy of reading.

Photo of two teenage boys sat with an adult man looking at a book. There are bookshelves in the background.

What is Reading Ahead?

Reading Ahead builds reading confidence, skills and encourages everyone to read more. Run in prisons, public libraries, colleges, adult community learning settings and workplaces, Reading Ahead engages people in the joy of reading, often for the first time, which in turn helps them to improve their language and literacy skills. 

Participants choose six reads: books, magazines, recipes, letters – anything! After completing each read, they share their thoughts on what they’ve read by filling out a review in a personal Reading Diary and work towards receiving a certificate of achievement. Readers can use our reading database to search for material at the right reading level and practitioners can access a hub of supporting guidance, learning resources and promotional materials on our Resources database.

Who is it for?

Reading Ahead is aimed at young people and adults who are less confident readers and those who want to improve their literacy and language skills or get back into reading. It is run in by UK prisons, public libraries, colleges, adult community learning centres and workplaces. 

A middle aged man in a library smiles reading a copy of Nightingale Point by Luann Goldie

An icon of a person sitting and reading a book.

Adults who read for just 30 minutes a week are 20% more likely to report greater life satisfaction

Reading for pleasure enhances empathy and the ability to understand others’ identities

Resources

Prisoners champion Reading Ahead

To fulfil our aim of extending the reach and impact of Reading Ahead in prisons, we are piloting a new approach under the name Reading Ahead Champions.

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What is Reading Groups for Everyone?

Reading Groups for Everyone is the UK’s largest reading group network. Whether you’re already in a reading group, want to join one or looking to set one up, you’re in the right place.

Join today to discover your next great read, get free books to read and review before anyone else, enter competitions to meet authors and take part in great giveaways.

Who is it for?

Our reading group network is for everyone. The book clubs meet in all kinds of places and are made up of all kinds of people. The one thing they have in common is that they love reading and talking about books.

We know how important reading for pleasure is and the positive difference it makes to our lives. Reading groups are a great way to make friends, feel connected and empowered to try books you’d never have come across otherwise. 

94% of people felt more connected to others thanks to their reading group

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We hosted 7,873 reading groups across the UK in 2022-23

Resources

GollanczFest - digital assets

Gollancz is the UK’s #1 Sci-fi, Fantasy & Horror publisher, bringing you epic books by the likes of Brandon Sanderson, Victoria Aveyard, Patrick Rothfuss, Joe…

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Join the new Blue Peter Book Club!

Each month, presenters will showcase a new book and be joined by young readers to talk about the incredible stories, new worlds and fascinating characters they discover.

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Share your reading group story

What impact does being in a reading group or book club have on you? Does it make you read more, or try different types of books? At The Reading Agency, we want to encourage reading groups to become active members of our reading community.

We believe reading has the power to transform lives and we can prove that it does.
Donate today to help us get more people reading.

Quick Reads 2024

6 new Quick Reads titles are out now!

https://youtu.be/Ol6aQ2zNFNQ

Quick Reads 2024 are short books and great stories by bestselling authors, written in an accessible and easy to read style.

Order your books for just £1 from Bookshop.org to support The Reading Agency and local bookshops at no additional cost to you, or get them at or your local library.

Kia Abdullah, Those People Next Door
(abridged) (HQ, HarperCollins)

ISBN: 9780008654344
Number of pages:
160

Welcome to your dream home… meet your new neighbours… and prepare for the nightmare to begin…

Book cover of Boys Don't Cry by Malorie Blackman

Malorie Blackman, Boys Don’t Cry
(abridged) (Penguin, Penguin Random House)

ISBN: 9780241688106
Number of pages:
144

The bestselling Noughts & Crosses author delivers a page-turning story of an ambitious A-level student Dante who unexpectedly finds himself carrying an enormous new responsibility.

Matt Cain, Game On
(Headline, Hachette)

ISBN: 9781035409730
Number of pages:
128

A media-averse footballer and a football-hating journalist discover a shared hidden passion – for each other – in this rollicking rom-com full of heart.

Book cover of Without Warning and Only Sometimes by Kit de Waal

Kit de Waal, Without Warning and Only Sometimes
(abridged) (Headline, Hachette)

ISBN: 9781035413683
Number of pages:
128

A poignant memoir painting a vivid portrait of cultural identity, family dynamics, and resilience in 1960s Birmingham.

Jo Nesbo, The Jealousy Man
(Vintage, Penguin Random House)

ISBN:
9781529928280
Number of pages:
112

Murder. Assassination. Revenge. A riveting and mysterious crime story, exploring the dark shadows of envy and betrayal.

Book cover of The Last Summer by Karen Swan

Karen Swan, The Last Summer
(abridged) (Pan Macmillan)

ISBN: 9781035029143
Number of pages:
128

Summer on St Kilda – a wild, remote Scottish island. Two strangers from drastically different worlds meet …

Read our Quick Reads 2022 evaluation report to find out more about the benefits of Quick Reads.

Take part in the World Book Night #ReadingHour from 7pm on 23 April and join people across the UK in dedicating time to reading on World Book Night. Find out more.

Photo of Konnie Huq holding an upside down glass of water over a boy's head. She has a shocked expression and the boy is smiling.

What is Reading Sparks?

Reading Sparks harnesses the creative power of reading to engage families with STEM activities (science, technology, engineering and maths) and build science confidence in communities living in deprived parts of England.  

The project is delivered by The Reading Agency in partnership with public libraries with funding from Arts Council England and the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC). 

How it works

As part of the Reading Sparks pilot, library partners gave reading and STEM book and activity boxes to families particularly disadvantaged by the pandemic. Using supporting resources, they worked with young people in different settings to develop positive, confidence-building reading and STEM activities for young people aged 14-18. Working with library staff and youth workers, participants designed new digital and in-person reading and science activities for families with children aged 4-11. 

Thanks to continued support from the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC), Reading Sparks is now entering phase 2, where libraries will offer sessions of their choice and design to the groups they wish to work with,  using our exciting, engaging resources.  

If you have any questions about Reading Sparks or how your library service can get involved, please get in touch.

Our evaluation shows that Reading Sparks builds confidence and engagement with STEM among children, young people and families and demonstrates the important role that creativity and reading play in sparking engagement with a wide range of subjects and topics.   

Following the successful pilot (and subsequent national roll-out) in 2021-2022, The Reading Agency is now developing its future Reading Sparks engagement activity for use by library services and other stakeholders.  

Graphic with stack of books

Reading for pleasure is more important for children’s cognitive development than their parents’ level of education 

Four icons of people. One of them is white, while the other three are navy.

1 in 4 children don’t reach the expected level of reading by the age of 11

If you have a Reading Sparks subscription you can access supporting resources here:

You Can Run - Social media assets

Discover the thrilling world of Trevor Wood. An exhilarating standalone thriller from the acclaimed author of The Man on the Street. It wasn't her dad…

Photo of two girls in school uniform reading books and smiling

Explore more

Head to our Reading Sparks platform to share your projects and see what others are up to.

Latest News

What is Reading Well?

Reading Well supports you to understand and manage your health and wellbeing using helpful reading.

Reading Well books are all recommended by health experts, as well as people with lived experience of the conditions and topics covered and their relatives and carers.

You can be recommended a title by a health professional, or you can visit your local library and take a book out yourself.

Find out more about Reading Well in Wales.

Photo of a stack of some Reading Well books on a table.

Partners

Reading Well is delivered by The Reading Agency in partnership with Libraries Connected as a core delivery partner for their Universal Public Library Health and Wellbeing Offer.

It is funded by Arts Council England, The Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport and Welsh Government.

An icon depicting two people with their arms on each others shoulder.

97% of young people would recommend their Reading Well book to a friend

A line illustration of a head with a scribble inside.

90% of health professionals surveyed said Reading Well books helped support people outside of consultation time


Get involved

Reading Well is part of the Universal Public Library Health and Wellbeing Offer. Download our delivery model for a guide to running Reading Well in your library.

You can also download specialist guides for other settings interested in getting involved with Reading Well: Schools, Parents and carers, Link workers and the health sector.

Other print materials supporting Reading Well, including user leaflets and posters, can be ordered from our online shop.

For more information, please get in touch.


We have lots of free downloadable resources to support you with promoting and embedding Reading Well.

Grief Awareness Week 2023: library toolkit

A toolkit to support libraries to get involved in Grief Awareness Week, 2-8 December 2023. The toolkit provides: • Helpful resources • Library display and…

Tell us what you think

Have you used a Reading Well book? We’d love you to fill in a short survey to tell us how you found it.

There are surveys for:

Adults
Young People
Children

Reading Well for Teens

Reading Well for teens suggests recommended reading and digital resources to help you understand your feelings and boost your confidence. Teens and health and wellbeing experts have chosen the books to help you manage your emotions and cope with difficult times.

The booklist is targeted at teenagers (13–18) and includes a range of reading levels and formats to support less confident readers and encourage engagement.

Look for the Reading Well for teens books in your local library – they’re free to borrow.

Many titles are also available to borrow as e-books and audiobooks. Find out how to join the library and access books, e-books and audiobooks via your local library website.

Our guide to the book collection and digital leaflet are available to download for free. There is also a bilingual digital leaflet for Wales.

For more information on Reading Well for teens please see our FAQ document.

Read our news statement here.

Big Jubilee Read

BBC Arts and The Reading Agency have announced the titles for the Big Jubilee Read, a reading for pleasure campaign celebrating great reads from celebrated authors from across the Commonwealth to coincide with Her Majesty The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

The Reading Agency

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