World Book Day has, today, announced plans for 2018. The charity, whose mission is to celebrate reading for pleasure and encourage children and young people to read and love books, has revealed a stellar line-up of authors, illustrators and events across the country for its 21st World Book Day celebrations. The day marks the world’s biggest celebration of reading, where the nation’s entire book industry comes together to work proactively to address falling literacy levels and create readers of the future. This year, over £650,000 was raised for charity by World Book Day and over 1.2 million £1 book tokens were redeemed, enabling 1 in 4 children (1 in 3 for those receiving free school meals) to ‘purchase’ their first ever book*. Research by the National Literacy Trust* has indicated that 89.5% of children are aware of World Book Day and that, in 2016, 60% of children were inspired to read more by the celebration.

Penning new works that will cost just £1 (€1.50 in Ireland), or free in exchange for a £1 World Book Day book token, bestselling children’s authors and illustrators for 2018 include: Great British Bake Off champion Nadiya Hussain, broadcaster Clare Balding, musician Tom Fletcher, comedian Julian Clary and top illustrator David Roberts, sports journalist Gerard Siggins, and further favorites Pamela Butchart, Andy Griffiths, Terry Denton and Kes Gray. Jim Field, 2018’s official World Book Day illustrator will illustrate Kes Gray’s book. In addition to these new titles, and completing the line-up, there will be releases from favourite household brands Marvel’s The Avengers, Mr Men and Paddington. The £1 World Book Day book tokens are available to all schoolchildren in the UK and Ireland.

To mark the launch of next year’s celebration and the new ‘Share a Story’ theme for 2018, the nation’s readers have been invited to take part in a fun game on Twitter called #ShareAStoryIn10. On the morning of Friday 29th September from 10am, 10 authors, illustrators and World Book Day ambassadors will come together to share a brand new story in 10 lines, each writing one line of the story and posting it to Twitter. Anybody following the hashtag, #ShareAStoryIn10, will see the story unfolding across the social media network. Once the story is finished, each of the 10 authors and ambassadors will encourage their followers to start their own 10 line stories, nominating a friend to continue the chain. Later in the day, Julian Clary will be reading out some of the day’s stories in a Twitter Livestream at 4pm, with David Roberts illustrating at the same time.
The ‘Share a Story’ theme intends to mobilise the nation to ‘TAKE 10’ and recognise the positive impact that reading together for only 10 minutes a day can have on a child’s outcome. Parents, teachers and children are encouraged to go beyond dressing up on World Book Day to reignite a love of shared reading and the sense of wellbeing that it brings. If every child left school with the reading skills they need, our economy could be £30billion bigger by 2025** so, for the first time, World Book Day are also engaging corporate and public sector partners to promote their reading message in their businesses and organisations. There will be exclusive Share a Story POS packs available for bookshops, as well as a UK-wide poll to find the nation’s favourite #storiestoshare.
Over the past 20 years, World Book Day UK has distributed over 290 million £1 book tokens to children and young people across the country. It was first marked in the UK in 1997, in response to an increasing concern over poor reading and writing standards in children. It is now a global phenomenon. For 2018, titles chosen will offer a message of inclusivity, through the authors, illustrations, stories and a wide assortment of characters, enabling young readers to see the world in which they live reflected between the pages.

Alongside activity on World Book Day itself, the charity will be running both a national tour of author/illustrator events around the country in ‘The Biggest Book Show on Earth’, from 26 February to 3 March, and bringing back the incredibly successful World Book Day Award (WoBoD) for the fourth time. The WoBoD competition involved over 76,000 children, their families and communities in 2017 and £25,000 of Walker books were won. The line-up for the tour and more details about this year’s Award are to be announced in due course.

World Book Day Director Kirsten Grant said: "This year, World Book Day celebrated a significant milestone – 20 years of what is now the world’s biggest reading celebration. It was a fantastic landmark to reach, but we still have hard work to do, to create the readers of the future. Looking towards the next 20 years, we must continue, as an organisation and an industry, to present books in a way that will make children and young people actively want to read them. This year, we hope that our range of titles, authors, illustrators and initiatives will continue to do just that. Authors and illustrators are instrumental to the World Book Day campaign, and getting the right mix for the £1 books is key, as they drive children from all backgrounds into bookshops to redeem their book tokens and pick up their free World Book Day book. To ensure the net is as wide as possible, this year we have created specific areas of the campaign to target the YA audience, parents and adults at work through corporate and public sector partnerships, helping World Book Day to engage as many new readers as possible.”

The 11 official £1 World Book Day books cater for a range of ages. For preschool children, the award-winning Kes Gray and Roald Dahl Funny Prize-winning illustrator Jim Field have teamed up to deliver a new title in their bestselling Oi picture book series, Oi Goat! Younger readers can catch up with their favourite Mr Men characters in a new adventure from Mr Men creator Roger Hargreaves’ son Adam, My Book About Me By Mr Silly.

Readers at Key Stages 1-2 will be able to get to know a little alien in The Baby Brother From Outer Space!, Pamela Butchart’s latest adventure, join much-loved Great British Bake Off star Nadiya Hussain and her children for scrumptious stories and delicious bakes for all the family or meet Andy and Terry, who make the world’s coolest stories together in their treehouse, in Terry’s Dumb Dot Story: A Treehouse Tale. Middle grade readers will also be able to enjoy a brand new edition of three classic Paddington Bear stories from master storyteller Michael Bond in Paddington Turns Detective and Other Funny Stories.

For children at Key Stage 4 and above, there will be a funny and heart-warming animal story, The Girl Who Thought She Was a Dog, from the brilliant bestselling author Clare Balding, a trip in a time-travelling ice cream van in Brain Freeze by Tom Fletcher and a special adventure with Teddington’s wildest hyena family from Julian Clary and David Roberts, as they move across the ocean from African safari park to England in The Bolds’ Great Adventure. As well as the fiction titles, there will be a special World Book Day book of fascinating facts about everyone’s favourite team of superheroes in Marvel’s The Avengers: The Greatest Heroes. Irish readers aged over nine, will also be able to choose Rugby Roar, from the hugely popular author of the Rugby series, Gerard Siggins. Further new initiatives aimed at engaging young adults are being developed as part of this year’s programme. Working with booksellers and publishers, we’ll be targeting teenagers in their own spaces, online as well as making sure we can give them real offers and choices in bookshops too. With more details still to be announced, BOOKCLUBBING will be an exciting movement encouraging teenagers to spread the word about their favourite stories and make a noise about books.

World Book Day is also delighted to announce two new Trustees. Author and illustrator of the How to Train Your Dragon series, Cressida Cowell, and Steve Thompson, UK Co-Managing Director of Scholastic, are joining the prestigious group of Trustees from across the industry.

As well as celebrating the joy of reading, this year’s key ‘Share A Story’ theme encourages adults, parents and older siblings to participate by reading and sharing stories and books with family, friends and colleagues alike.

The £1 World Book Day books for 2018 in full:

Oi Goat! by Kes Gray and Jim Field (Hodder Children’s Books)
Mr Men: My Book About Me By Mr Silly written and illustrated by Adam Hargreaves, original concept by Roger Hargreaves (Egmont)
The Baby Brother From Outer Space! by Pamela Butchart, illustrated by Thomas Flintham (Nosy Crow)
Paddington Turns Detective and Other Funny Stories by Michael Bond, illustrated by Peggy Fortnum (HarperCollins)
Nadiya’s Bake Me a Story by Nadiya Hussain, illustrated by Clair Rossiter (Hodder Children’s Books)
Terry’s Dumb Dot Story: A Treehouse Tale by Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton (Macmillan)
The Girl Who Thought She Was a Dog by Clare Balding, illustrated by Tony Ross (Puffin)
Brain Freeze by Tom Fletcher, illustrated by Shane Devries (Puffin)
The Bolds’ Great Adventure by Julian Clary, illustrated by David Roberts (Andersen Press)
Marvel’s The Avengers: The Greatest Heroes by Alastair Dougall (Dorling Kindersley)
Ireland only:

Rugby Roar by Gerard Siggins (O’Brien Press)
World Book Day will be celebrated on Thursday 1 March 2018. From late February 2018, children in the UK and Ireland will be given a £1 (€1.50 in Ireland) book token in their nurseries, preschools and schools, which they can use to claim their free World Book Day title in participating bookshops and supermarkets from 26 February to 25 March 2018.

Visit from Friday 29 September 2017 for more information and to subscribe to the free monthly World Book Day e-newsletter.
* The National Literacy Trust’s Annual Literacy Survey 2016

**Read On. Get On.