The Reading Agency Website

The Reading Agency work every day towards a world where everyone is reading their way to a better life. Visit their website to find out more.

Reading Together Day Announced For 16 July 2020

Over 15 organisations collaborating to highlight the importance of reading together.


  • Families are invited to take part in a celebration of reading together on 16 July
  • Shared schedule of events throughout the day featuring collaborators across books, publishing and education sectors

Families across the country are invited to take part in the celebration of reading together on 16 July as part of the Reading Together Day, coordinated by The Reading Agency. The day will showcase a shared schedule of events featuring collaborators including Authors Aloud UK, Arts Council England, ASCEL, BookTrust, British Library, CILIP, Coram Beanstalk, Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Department for Education, Dollywood Foundation, Libraries Connected, National Literacy Trust, Open University, Pearson, Publishers Association, School Library Association and World Book Day.

As families and individuals grapple with the challenges of school changes, loss of support networks and the implementation of social distancing, the aim of the Reading Together Day is to bring families, friends, schools and wider communities together – starting conversations, sharing stories, making connections, celebrating reading and having fun. People of all ages are invited to take part in sharing the love of reading for pleasure, to help build skills, increase confidence, support educational attainment and improve wellbeing.

All collaborators will participate in a shared schedule of events, delivering a programme of activities to get everyone reading together, with the aim to reach as many families and young people as possible. More details, including the schedule of coordinated events and ambassadors taking part in the day will be announced next week.

People of all ages will be invited to take part in sharing the joy of reading for pleasure and will be encouraged to post their favourite things to read and plans to keep reading together this summer online using the hashtag #ReadingTogether.

Reading Together Day (16 July 2020) Schedule – Activity Highlights

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. 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-Max, Ed 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 Phoenix. Cathy 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.