The Reading Agency and Manchester Libraries team up with CBBC for the Blue Peter Book Club Live

Blue Peter presenter, Abi, lies across an armchair in a green garden holding a book and smiling. She wears a pink t shirt, pink trainers and black dungarees.

Blue Peter, the world’s longest running kids TV show, is partnering with The Reading Agency and Manchester Libraries on an exciting new initiative called Blue Peter Book Club Live. This ambitious project aims to inspire a love of reading and creativity in primary school-aged children across Greater Manchester and throughout the UK.

Blue Peter Book Club Live will engage young readers through a multi-faceted approach involving free activities and events both in and outside of traditional reading spaces. There will be a large-scale Blue Peter Book Club Live event at Manchester Central Library on Saturday 18th  May featuring Blue Peter presenters, authors from the Book Club including Eve Ainsworth and Children’s Laureate Joseph Coelho plus a book-inspired art-installation created by 10,000 local school children. Other highlights include a Blue Peter Book Club Live Badge Trail, which will take families to cultural venues across Manchester withactivities themed around the 12 Blue Peter Book Club titles.

Children will also be able to discover the Blue Peter Book Club booklist in unexpected settings as part of a series of “Book Hunt” events in Manchester parks and open spaces. Across the nation, libraries and schools will be able to participate in Blue Peter Book Club Live using activity packs and reading resources developed by The Reading Agency to create a nationwide celebration.

The Blue Peter Book Club introduces young readers to new writing and encourage a love of reading. In partnership with The Reading Agency an expert panel of librarians, booksellers and children in library sessions, chose a list of Blue Peter Book Club recommended reads from awesome authors and fantastic illustrators. Its next six titles are:

  • Greenwild: The World Behind The Door by Pari Thomson, Illustrated by Elisa Paganelli (Macmillan Children’s Books)
  • The Last Firefox by by Lee Newbery, Illustrated by Laura Catalán (Puffin, Penguin Random House Children’s)
  • The Breakfast Club Adventures: The Beast Beyond the Fence by Marcus Rashford written with Alex Falase-Koya, Illustrated by Marta Kissi (Macmillan Children’s Books, Pan Macmillan)
  • You Are History: From the Alarm Clock to the Toilet, the Amazing History of the Things You Use Every Day by Greg Jenner Illustrated by Jenny Taylor (Walker Books, 2022)
  • Major and Mynah by Karen Owen, Illustrated by Louise Forshaw (Firefly Press)
  • Bob vs The Selfie Zombies by Andy Jones, Illustrated by Robin Boyden (Piccadilly Press, Bonnier Books)
Six book jackets: Greenwild, Major and Mynah, Breakfast Club Adventures, Bob vs. The Selfie Zombies and You Are History on a blue background with heart and start sketches and the Blue Peter Book Club logo in the middle.

Blue Peter Book Club Live will have a major presence on broadcast and digital. A special episode Blue Peter Book Club Live will be shown on CBBC and iPlayer, 5pm, Friday 24th May from Media City UK with authors and local school children taking part.  Working in collaboration with BBC Arts, Blue Peter will also produce book review content, animations, digital games and more.  While to support young readers learning at home and in the classroom, the Blue Peter Book Club is supported by curriculum resources from BBC Bitesize.

Blue Peter Book Club Live will take place into Summer 2024 with a series of pop-up events at libraries and schools across the UK. More details can be found on the Library Live website.

The Blue Peter Big Read is supported with an award of £99,385 through Arts Council England’s National Lottery Project Grants programme.

We’re thrilled to harness the power of the Blue Peter brand to inspire children to read for pleasure. By meeting them in their communities through our partnership with Manchester Libraries and The Reading Agency’s nationwide reach, we aim to make reading feel fun, accessible and relevant to all kids.

Sarah Muller, Senior Head of Commissioning 7+

This initiative is a wonderful opportunity to connect families with the vital resources of their local libraries. The Blue Peter Book Club’s diverse and accessible booklist, created with The Reading Agency, ensures that all children can see themselves represented and participate.

Karen Napier MBE, CEO, The Reading Agency

We are delighted to work alongside our partners to bring such an exciting reading event to the city.  We know that reading is a joyous experience and getting young Mancunians engaged, excited and inspired by books now is really important to us as it will engender a love of reading that continues to grow throughout their lives.  And what better place to launch such a wonderful initiative as the much-loved and celebrated Manchester Central Library.

Neil Mac Innes OBE, Manchester City Council’s Head of Service, Libraries, Galleries, Culture and Youth

Enabling children and young people to enjoy creative and culture experiences is a priority for the Arts Council and The Blue Peter Book Club Live is a great opportunity for them to discover the joy of reading in their local community. I’m pleased that we are supporting the project through our National Lottery Project Grants programme to fund some exciting activities for families across Manchester and I’m really looking forward to attending the celebration event at Manchester Central Library.

Darren Henley, Chief Executive, Arts Council England
The Reading Agency

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