Tomorrow I’m joining Hugh Grant, Rupert Everett, Anne Fine, Anthony Horowitz, Tom Stoppard, plus the cast of “Matilda”, “Wicked”, “War Horse” and loads of other fascinatingly clever and creative people to celebrate literacy. We’ll be gathering in Trafalgar Square as part of the ‘Get Reading’ programme to read from our favourite children’s authors.
We’re gathering for this massive readathon because of the London Evening Standard’s toe-curling research which reveals that one in four kids in the capital are leaving school unable to read and write properly, while one in three do not have a book of their own.
Many kids who do have access to books, tend to be limiting their reading material to facebook, menus, tarot cards, palms and bank balances.
From Shakespeare and Austen, to Dickens and JK Rowling, Britain has given the world our best loved writers. But if we don’t want to become a nation of the Illiterati, then we have to make sure our children get totally hooked on books. Reading is mentally and emotionally nourishing – like bookish broccoli. Reading helps you make sense of the world and understand other people and places. It’s a mental espresso.