Reading Together Day (16 July 2020)

We are delighted to announce the launch of the Reading Together Day, which will take place on 16th July. This is an exciting initiative to inspire children and their families to read together.

Research shows that “Reading Together as a family has been found to have long term effects. Teenagers whose parents read with them frequently in their first year of school were 6 months ahead in reading levels at the age of 15”.

The day is being coordinated by The Reading Agency, in collaboration with many organisations. It’s a day to create a buzz and get the nation talking about reading and its benefits.


Reading Together Day 2020


Please note the schedule is subject to change.


8.30am – Summer Reading Challenge: The Reading Song (@readingagency)


The Reading Song: We hope you all enjoy the official Summer Reading Challenge theme song! Written and performed by Harry Baker and Chris Read. Silly Squad Character Illustrations © Laura Ellen Anderson 2020. All other illustrations and animations © Daisy Mojave Holland


9am – An Audience with Author, Actor and Comedian Ben Miller (@AuthorsAloudUK, @ASCELUK)


Join Authors Aloud UK and publisher Simon & Schuster for a live chat and readings, with author, actor and comedian Ben Miller. Ben will be talking about his new children’s book The Boy Who Made the World Disappear, which is a hilarious out-of-this world adventure about time travel, twists of fate and troublesome black holes (for ages 7 – 12). It will be hosted on Zoom.  


9.30am – Reading Together with CILIP: National Shelf Service and Carnegie Greenaway Awards (@CILIPinfo, @CILIPCKG)


Look out for the #NationalShelfService broadcasts from @CILIPinfo on Twitter or subscribe online for a day of book recommendations, including a draw along with Jackie Morris, who conjures an otter from her Kate Greenaway winning book, The Lost Words at 1pm; a tea time story, Luna Loves Library Day, read aloud by Joseph Coelho at 3pm; and story time with Jessica Love at 5pm reading aloud from her award-winning book Julian is a Mermaid.


For older readers, join the CILIP Carnegie Greenaway Awards on @CILIPCKG for readings by the 2020 Carnegie authors from their outstanding shortlisted books from 10.30am to 5.30pm.


10am – Story time for 0-5s with Ken, Ed and Chitra! (@BookTrust)


Join BookTrust for a live, fun and cosy story time session for 0-5 year-olds to celebrate Reading Together Day, featuring author/illustrators Ken Wilson-MaxEd Vere and author Chitra Soundar reading their own stories.


Catch it on: Facebook or YouTube. And stay tuned to @booktrust on Twitter for lots of fun Reading Together Day ideas.



11am – Author of the Week with Tom Palmer (@Literacy_Trust)


The National Literacy Trust has teamed up with the Premier League and award-winning children’s author Tom Palmer to bring children and families exciting football-themed reading activities, videos and free ebooks to enjoy together at home.


Zone In


Check out the National Literacy Trust’s Zone In, a space for young people aged 13+ to access reading challenges, author exclusives and free audiobooks.


12pm – School Library Association (@SLA)


We’re starting with Smriti Halls talking about her favourite books as part of the recent ‘Representation for all: diverse books for children’ webinar for library staff, teachers and parents, followed by videos from SLA staff, supporters and volunteers reading from Anna Gain and the Same Sixty Seconds by Guy Bass and Toad Attack by Patrice Lawrence. There’ll also be booklists, reading tips and free webinar on 17 July to hear about the Summer Reading Challenge.


1.40pm – The Doves of Damascus by Ftoun Abou Kerech, read by Sir Nicholas Serota (@ace_national)


Sir Nicholas Serota from Arts Council England will read The Doves of Damascus by Ftoun Abou Kerech, from England: Poems from a School edited by Kate Clanchy.


2pm – Take part in the Launch of Cathy Cassidy’s new book Forever Phoenix (@AuthorsAloudUK, @ASCELUK)


Have you always wanted to ask your favourite writer best-selling author Cathy Cassidy a question? Then this is your chance to join Authors Aloud UK and Penguin Random House publisher and be part of the live launch for her book Forever PhoenixCathy is the author of the popular Chocolate Box Girls and the Lost and Found series. She will be talking about her book, reading extracts from it, sharing her tips for writing stories and answering your questions (for ages 8 – 14). It will be hosted on Zoom.


2.30pm – Reading Tips from the Department for Education (@educationgovuk)


The Department for Education will provide you with tips for reading together with children.


3pm – Read with Pearson (@Pearson_UK)


Join Pearson for a live YouTube event on Reading Together Day and explore how reading can be a truly enjoyable experience for children and young adults. We'll be exploring how reading aloud can help build vocabulary from early years right the way through to adulthood, with curriculum expert, Mary Myatt. We'll be taking a look at all of the ways in which books can be engaging and enjoyable for readers with children's writer, Andy Stanton and author, SF Said, who will be taking us through some of the books that he has enjoyed reading the most and how they inspired him to become a writer.


The event will be hosted live at 3pm on the Pearson UK Learning YouTube Channel.


4pm – Join World Book Day for story-sharing fun for all ages (@WorldBookDayUK)


Celebrate reading together with lovely video stories for under 5s, fun booky quizzes, free audiobooks, masterclasses from your favourite authors and illustrators and our Power Book recommendations for young adults.


5pm – The benefits of family reading in and out of lockdown (@DCMS)


Read a blog post from DCMS and The Reading Agency presenting new research findings on children's reading during lockdown and the importance of family influences.


5.30pm – Reading Treasure Hunt (@OpenUni_RfP)


Join the Open University to celebrate reading in all its diversity! Reading for pleasure involves books and so much more. Hunt for Reading Treasures (online and print) with members of your household and wider family, then share your hoard!  #ReadingTreasure Instructions for the Treasure Hunt can be found online.   


6.15pm – Reading Tips from Coram Beanstalk (@beanstalkreads)


Coram Beanstalk is here to provide you with tips to help your family to read together all summer long.


6.30pm - Say Goodnight with Dolly! (@dollyslibrary)


Join Dolly Parton as she shares some of her favourite stories for under-fives from the Imagination Library.


Dolly created the Imagination Library as a tribute to her dad. She felt in her heart that his inability to read probably kept him from fulfilling all of his dreams. Which is why inspiring children to love reading became her mission. In the UK we have sent over half a million books every year, and during lockdown we have sent over 160,000 to families across the country.  She says, "Reading together is just a wonderful thing to do, and it's so important. That's why I've made Goodnight With Dolly. I think it is pretty clear that now is the time to share a story and to share some love."


Reading with children right from the start has a massive impact on their development. It's never too early to start! On our website you will find helpful reading tips and activities for preschool children and all 10 Goodnight with Dolly videos to enjoy - no matter your age! 


7pm – Reading as a Family: Top tips for Reading Together (@readingagency, @Parentkind)


This discussion hosted by Parentkind is a chance to hear from an expert panel including author Joseph Coelho and Professor Teresa Cremin, about the importance of families to children’s reading and ways to motivate your little ones. It will look at key benefits and practical tips for reading together, showcase fun, family-oriented incentives such as The Reading Agency's Summer Reading Challenge and aim to answer any questions you have about why reading together matters and how you can get your children – and whole family – hooked on books.

Registration is open now.


8pm – An evening with CILIP Carnegie Medal winning author Anthony McGowan (@AuthorsAloudUK, @ASCELUK)


Join Authors Aloud UK and Barrington Stoke publisher live as we celebrate Anthony McGowan’s recent Carnegie Medal winning success for his wonderful book Lark

Anthony will be talking about the ideas behind the book and the others in The Truth of Things series, as well as giving us a reading or two and answering your questions. As Anthony says: “On one level, Lark is a simple adventure story. Lark is also a story about the power of stories and the way they weave through our lives (for ages 13+, teachers and librarians). It will be hosted on Zoom.


Little Sutton English Hub will be celebrating the day as follows: 


We are invitIng Years 2, 3, 4 and 5 back for a reading picnic with their class teacher who will read them a story and undertake some fun reading activities. We have organised hour slots for each year group. The reading picnic will take place on the field and the children will be socially distanced.


In addition the children in Years Reception, 1 and 6 will take part in a selection from the following activities: 


Reading a book or poem with the class

Reading a book by the author of the term for their next year group. The authors at our school for the autumn term are as follows:


Year One - Martin Waddell

Year Two – Jeff Brown

Year Three - Cressida Cowell

Year Four - CS Lewis

Year Five - Frank Cottrell Boyce

Year Six - Michael Morpurgo


Discuss what the children have read during lockdown - The children will be invited to recommend books to their class mates

Complete a quiz on books that the class have read or a general book related quiz - this could involve showing pictures of items/characters and asking which book they would find them in. Included below are other general book quizzes

Begin the reading challenge map- this can be found along with further information here.


Ideas from Silly Squad Summer Reading challenge

▪ Create a piece of class artwork with all children creating a piece of art of themselves doing something silly like our Silly Squad!

▪ Read an extract from your favourite funny book or hilarious poem to your class or on social media. You can find out information about this in our Teachers' Toolkit

▪ Show the Silly Squad School Assembly PowerPoint to your class or school

▪ Share The Silly Squad book collectionwith your pupils so they can get some ideas of funny books to read in the Challenge

▪ Direct children to the Book Sorter on the Summer Reading Challenge website. Nearly a million books have been added by children on the Book Sorter so they can find out what books children have recommended and use the sorter to receive their own recommendations

▪ Visit our School Zone to find downloadable activities and ideas to use with your school throughout the Challenge

▪ Send all of your students to the Summer Reading Challenge website to join the 2020 Silly Squad

▪ Inform parents and support those who might find it harder to take part or engage with library services, by sharing our Home Zone.


Quiz questions but be warned clicking on reveal the answers takes you to Amazon to try and get you to buy the book


Nursery rhyme quiz


Roald Dahl quiz