Beanstalk – a literacy charity which recruits, trains and places volunteers in primary schools across England to provide one-to-one support to children who have fallen behind with reading – has revealed 40 children’s books that will be used by the charity’s volunteers to kick-start reading engagement for the children they support.

Beanstalk’s ‘Top 40’ has been handpicked by children’s literacy experts including Beanstalk staff, trained reading helpers and literacy consultant Marilyn Brocklehurst – founder of The Norfolk Children’s Book Centre.

The selection process involved careful consideration of the types of books Beanstalk-supported children would find fun and motivational.

Beanstalk reveals ‘Top 40’ children’s books for struggling and reluctant readers

The books will be provided to Beanstalk schools as part of a starter pack resource which will be used by the charity’s trained volunteers placed in that setting.

Beanstalk has been working in schools for over 40 years supporting thousands of children each year across the country who have fallen behind with reading. By bringing together the expertise of its long-standing reading helpers and highly respected literacy experts, Beanstalk has developed a resource which will ensure its network of reading helpers are well equipped from the outset to help more children than ever before.

Beanstalk’s ‘Top 40’ has been organised into four age-appropriate sets of 10 books aimed at Lower Key Stage 1 (ages 5-6), Upper KS1 (ages 6-7) LKS1 (ages 7-8/9) and UKS2 (ages 9-11). All new schools that sign up with Beanstalk receive one starter pack of the 40 books.

All volunteers that go through Beanstalk’s selection and training process from now on will have access to a full starter pack of 40 books when they begin in a school.

Andy Stanton, author of You’re a Bad Man, Mr. Gum! Said, “I’ve been told many times that ‘Mr Gum’ has helped to get young readers started and it never fails to give me goosebumps – what a privilege it is to write for children. My stories might be silly, but I take writing and reading very seriously and am absolutely delighted to be included in Beanstalk’s starter pack.”

Click here to see the full list of books included in Beanstalk’s ‘Top 40’.

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Nisha Kotecha is the Founder of Good News Shared. Having worked and volunteered for charities in the UK for over 10 years, Nisha is on a mission to highlight how amazing charities are.

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