The Reading Agency Insights – Supporting Young Minds

A navy asset with a yellow magnifying glass. On the left, a line illustration of a young child reading.

The second in a series of events exclusively for publishers, The Reading Agency Insights session aims to provide publishers with crucial consumer data, learning and expertise from ten years of Reading Well book selection and co-production work.

Join this event to access exclusive age/subject specific reader insight, data and learning, focused on children and young people’s health and wellbeing.

More information about speakers and the agenda will be coming soon.

Who should attend?

  • All publishers are invited to attend, whether you are involved in health publishing or not. Our consumer insight relates to books that have strong themes relating to mental and physical health, which includes fiction titles, memoirs, as well as health information.
  • These events are open to any role and any department that is interested in accessing new reader insight and data, including editorial, designers, marketing and publicity, production and diversity and inclusion leads.

The Reading Agency Insights – Tackling Big Health Challenges Together

The first of a new series of events exclusively for publishers, The Reading Agency Insights session aims to provide publishers with crucial consumer data, learning and expertise from ten years of Reading Well book selection and co-production work.

What will be shared at the events?

  • New data about reader needs
  • Evidence about what makes health information books more accessible and inclusive
  • Knowledge about gaps in current health publishing linked to unmet reader need
  • New insights to add value to health publishing, including why certain titles are picked over others, what readers want from a health information book and what would improve a product for the end user
  • Our own research demonstrating that reading can improve health and wellbeing

Who should attend?

  • All publishers are invited to attend, whether you are involved in health publishing or not. Our consumer insight relates to books that have strong themes relating to mental and physical health, which includes fiction titles, memoirs, as well as health information.
  • These events are open to any role and any department that is interested in accessing new reader insight and data, including editorial, designers, marketing and publicity, production and diversity and inclusion leads.

Publishers invited to The Reading Agency Insights events to tackle big health challenges through reading

The Reading Agency is hosting a series of free online events for publishers, sharing insights and data from ten years of Reading Well book selection and co-production work. The sessions will demonstrate the power of books and reading to support health and wellbeing, offering new insights to add value to health publishing.

Launching on 30 April, the first of three Reading Agency Insights events will provide publishers with crucial consumer data, learning and expertise to help address the current UK health challenges. The series is part of a wider Reading Well development programme funded by Arts Council England.

Mental health services in England received a record 4.6 million referrals during 2022, up 22% from 2019 according to the BMA. Children and young people’s mental health is in crisis, with over 1.4m children estimated to have a mental health disorder (The King’s Fund).  Publishers, reading, and libraries are part of the solution, adding value to health service provision by building public understanding and confidence in health management through quality-assured, authentic and helpful reading; 81% of people surveyed say their Reading Well book helped them to understand more about their health needs.

The first online event will feature contributions from leading experts Professor Martin Marshall CBE, Chair of the Nuffield Trust, and former chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners, as well as NHS GP and media personality, Dr Radha Modgil. Attendees will hear new data about reader needs, evidence on what works best in publishing, and what makes health information books more accessible and inclusive. With over ten years of consumer insight data to draw on, The Reading Agency will also share knowledge about gaps in health publishing linked to unmet reader need, along with reader insights on books with strong themes relating to mental and physical health, including fiction titles and memoirs. Future events in the series will focus on children’s and adult mental health and dementia.

“This events series provides a unique opportunity for publishers to access crucial data and insights direct from readers and experts. Working together, we can ensure books meet the needs of readers facing health challenges and help tackle the current crisis.”

Following the first event in April, two further events will take place in June focusing specifically on children’s and adult mental health.

Karen Napier, CEO, The Reading Agency

All publishers are invited to attend. To register:

  • The Reading Agency Insights: Tackling Big Health Challenges Together, 30th April, 12.30pm – 1.30pm Book your space 
  • The Reading Agency Insights: Supporting Young Minds, 5th June 12.30pm – 1.30pm Book your space  
  • The Reading Agency Insights: Improving Adult Health, 25th June 12.30pm – 1.30pm Book your space  

Health Education England and The Reading Agency have worked in partnership to bring together a new list entitled ‘Your Health Collection’, to support users of health and prison libraries to understand and manage their health.

Your Health Collection launched on 6 July 2022 as part of Health Information Week.

The collection of 10 books and 30 digital resources were chosen by those working in healthcare, health information and knowledge and library specialists working in the NHS, in prisons, in public health and in Higher Education. The resources chosen are accessible, inclusive and reflect the diversity of society.

Health Education England and The Reading Agency have created a crowd-sourced uplifting book collection and a supporting list of digital resources, all recommended by NHS staff, for NHS staff.

The collection launched as part of Health Information Week and contains ten books that have been recommended via a survey circulated by the NHS. The final list was selected by a panel of NHS staff.

The book collection contains fiction, non-fiction, and poetry, and a supporting collection of uplifting digital resources, including poems, websites, videos and apps, can be accessed here.

Book cover of Three Things About Elsie

Three Things About Elsie

Joanna Cannon

Book cover of Before the Coffee Gets Cold

Before the Coffee Gets Cold

Toshikazu Kawaguchi, Geoffrey Trousselot

Book cover of The Lido

The Lido

Libby Page

Book cover of Calypso

Calypso

David Sedaris

Book cover of Happiness FM

Happiness FM

Mary Dickins

Book cover of The Salt Path

The Salt Path

Raynor Winn

Book cover of The Lost Spells

The Lost Spells

Robert Macfarlane, Jackie Morris

A refreshed Reading Well for dementia scheme is launching in May 2024. If you are a library staff member and would like more information on the new list or the promotional materials available, please contact [email protected]

Reading Well Books on Prescription for Dementia recommends books you might find helpful if you have dementia, are caring for someone with dementia or would like to find out more about the condition.

The books provide information and advice, support for living well, advice for relatives and carers, and personal stories. They are endorsed by health professionals and can all be found in the local library.

Selected titles are also available to borrow as e-books and audiobooks. Visit your local library website to find out how to join the library and access books electronically.

Browse the books on the list below or download a full overview of the titles here.

Information and advice

Coping with Memory Problems

Sallie Baxendale

Grandma

Jessica Shepherd


Living well with dementia

Pets in pictures

Helen J. Bate


Support for relatives and carers

Support for relatives and carers

Telling Tales About Dementia: Experiences of Caring

Lucy Whitman, Joanna Trollope, Brian Baylis, Rosemary Clarke, Pat Brown, Marilyn Duncan, Gail Chester, Peggy Fray, U Hla Htay Htay, Tim Dartington


Gwybodaeth a chyngor

Ynghylch Dementia

Karen Dodd, Vicky Turk, Michelle Christmas, Eleri Huws

Ymdopi a Phroblemau’r Cof

Sallie Baxendale

Mam-Gu a Fi

Jessica Shepherd, Eleri Huws

ABC Dementia

Bernard Coope, Felicity Richards

Byw yn dda gyda dementia

Bod yn Bositif am Ddementia

John Killick, Iwan Huws


Cefnogaeth i berthnasau a gofalwyr

A line illustration of a book.

Pan fo rhywun annwyl a Dementia

Susan Elliot-Wright


Straeon personol

Un Hen Alys, Yr

Lisa Genova, Mari Lisa

Colli Clive i Ddementia Cynnar

Helen Beaumont, Elgan Philip Davies

Reading Well for mental health provides helpful information and support for managing common mental health conditions, or dealing with difficult feelings and experiences. Some books also include personal stories from people who are living with or caring for someone with mental health needs.

The books are available to borrow from your local library. Selected titles are also available to borrow as e-books and audiobooks. Visit your local library website to find out how to join the library and access books electronically.

Booklist Categories

Browse the books on the list below or download a full overview of the titles here.

Therapies and approaches

Common feelings and experiences

Self-help books to support mental health

Break Free from OCD: Overcoming Obsessive Compulsive Disorder with CBT

Fiona Challacombe, Victoria Bream Oldfield, Paul M. Salkovskis

Other common conditions

Personal stories

The Boy with the Topknot: A Memoir of Love, Secrets and Lies in Wolverhampton

Sathnam Sanghera

Living with a Black Dog

Matthew Johnstone, Ainsley Johnstone

I Had a Black Dog

Matthew Johnstone

Therapïau a dulliau gweithredu

A line illustration of a book.

Rheoli Straen

Jim White

Goresgyn Diffyg Hunan-Werth

Melanie Fennell

Cyflwyniad i Ymdopi â Galar

Lee Brosan, Brenda Hogan

Llyfrau hunangymorth i gefnogi iechyd meddwl

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.

Reading Well for children provides quality-assured information, stories and advice to support children’s mental health and wellbeing. Books have been chosen and recommended by leading health professionals and co-produced with children and families.

The booklist is targeted at children in Key Stage 2 (aged 7-11), but includes titles aimed at a wide range of reading levels to support less confident readers, and to encourage children to read together with their siblings and carers.

The books are available to borrow from your local library. Selected titles are also available to borrow as e-books and audiobooks. Visit your local library website to find out how to join the library and access books electronically.

You can download our guide to the book collection and our booklist prescriber leaflet to use the collection.

Browse our Reading Well for children resources

Booklist categories

Healthy Minds

Feelings

Book cover of Feeling Angry!

Feeling Angry!

Katie Douglass

Worries

Book cover of Questions and Feelings About: Worries

Questions and Feelings About: Worries

Ximena Jeria, Paul Christelis

Book cover All Birds Have Anxiety

All Birds Have Anxiety

Kathy Hoopmann

Book cover of 
Me and My Fear

Me and My Fear

Francesca Sanna

Book cover of Ruby's Worry

Ruby’s Worry

Tom Percival

Book cover of Worry Angels

Worry Angels

Sita Brahmachari

Book cover of Grobblechops

Grobblechops

Elizabeth Laird

The world around you

Book cover of Dealing With...: Bullying

Dealing With…: Bullying

Jane Lacey, Venitia Dean

Book Cover of #Goldilocks (A Hashtag Cautionary Tale)

#Goldilocks (A Hashtag Cautionary Tale)

Jeanne Willis, Tony Ross

Book cover of Planet Omar: Accidental Trouble Magnet: Book 1

Planet Omar: Accidental Trouble Magnet: Book 1

Zanib Mian, Nasaya Mafaridik

Dealing with tough times

Book cover of The Boy Who Built a Wall Around Himself

The Boy Who Built a Wall Around Himself

Kara Simpson, Ali Redford

Book cover of Mum's Jumper

Mum’s Jumper

Jayde Perkin

Book cover of Michael Rosen's Sad Book

Michael Rosen’s Sad Book

Michael Rosen, Quentin Blake

Book cover of If All the World Were...

If All the World Were…

Joseph Coelho, Allison Colpoys

Book cover of 
Up and Down Mum

Up and Down Mum

Child’s Play, Summer Macon

Book cover of The Colour Thief: A family's story of depression

The Colour Thief: A family’s story of depression

Andrew Fusek Peters, Karin Littlewood, Polly Peters

Book cover of 
Clownfish

Clownfish

Alan Durant, Helen Crawford-White

When you have a condition

Book cover of Double Felix

Double Felix

Sally Harris, Maria Serrano

Book cover of M is for Autism

M is for Autism

The Students of Limpsfield Grange School, Vicky Martin, Robert Pritchett

Book cover of The Illustrated Guide to Dyslexia and Its Amazing People

The Illustrated Guide to Dyslexia and Its Amazing People

Kate Power, Kathy Iwanczak Forsyth, Richard Rogers

Meddyliau iach

Book cover of Darllen yn Well: Beth Sy'n Digwydd yn fy Mhen?

Beth Sy’n Digwydd Yn Fy Mhen?

Molly Potter, Sarah Jennings

Pryderon

Book cover of Angylion Pryder

Angylion Pryder

Meinir Wyn Edwards

Book cover of Pryder Glain

Pryder Glain

Tom Percival, Testun

Book cover of Trechu Pryder - Canllaw Plentyn Hyn i Reoli Gorbryder

Trechu Pryder – Canllaw Plentyn Hyn i Reoli Gorbryder

Dawn Huebner PhD, Testun, Kara McHale

Book cover of Cwestiynau a Theimladau Ynghylch Pryderon

Cwestiynau a Theimladau Ynghylch Pryderon

Paul Christelis, Ximena Jeria

Teimladau

Book cover of Sut Wyt Ti'n Teimlo Heddiw

Sut Wyt Ti’n Teimlo Heddiw?

Molly Potter, Testun, Sarah Jennings

Y byd o’ch cwmpas

Book cover of Rhywbeth Drwg ar Waith

Rhywbeth Drwg ar Waith

Dawn Huebner, PhD, Testun, Kara McHale

Book cover of Delio a Bwlio

Delio a Bwlio

Jane Lacey, Testun, Venitia Dean

Book cover of 
Elen Benfelen

Elen Benfelen

Jeanne Willis, Eurig Salisbury, Tony Ross

Delio â chyflwr

Book cover of Llyfr Lluniau Dyslecsia a'i Bobl Ryfeddol

Llyfr Lluniau Dyslecsia a’i Bobl Ryfeddol

Kate Power, Kathy Iwanczak

Book cover of Gan Bwyll a Gwyddbwyll

Gan Bwyll a Gwyddbwyll

Bethan Gwanas

Book cover of Ga i Son am ADHD

Ga i Son am ADHD?

Susan Yarney, Testun, Chris Martin

Book cover of Cwestiynau a Theimladau Ynghylch Awtistiaeth


Cwestiynau a Theimladau Ynghylch Awtistiaeth

Louise Spilsbury, Ximena Jeria

Book cover of Cwestiynau a Theimladau Ynghylch Anableddau

Cwestiynau a Theimladau Ynghylch Anableddau

Louise Spilsbury, Ximena Jeria

Book cover of M am Awtistiaeth

M am Awtistiaeth

The Students of Limpsfield Gr, Vicky Martin, Tudur Dylan Jones

Delio ag adegau anodd

Book cover of Y Bachgen a Gododd Wal o'i Gwmpas

Y Bachgen a Gododd Wal o’i Gwmpas

Ali Redford, Testun Cyf., Kara Simpson

Book cover of Siwmper Mam

Siwmper Mam

Jayde Perkin

Book cover of Petai'r Byd i Gyd Yn...

Petai’r Byd i Gyd Yn…

Joseph Coelho, Testun Cyf., Ms. Allison Colpoys

Book cover of Llyfr Trist Michael Rosen

Llyfr Trist Michael Rosen

Michael Rosen, Quentin Blake

Book cover of Mam Lan a Lawr

Mam Lan a Lawr

Summer Macon

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

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.

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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

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