World Book Day: Celebrating 25 years

Posted by theministry on 2nd March 2022

We’re celebrating 25 years of World Book Day bringing the magic of books alive for thousands of children.

This World Book Day we’re celebrating the lasting impact of books. We’ve asked our families, volunteers, partners and staff to recommend books they wish they had read as a child.

Malorie Blackman is an outstanding black female writer and I love the modern-day twist on the Romeo and Juliet style story in her book Noughts and Crosses. It is very cleverly written and imaginative.

Nominated by Elayne, Writing Mentor | For 12 years +

The main characters are Amari and her brother Quinton. After winning a scholarship, Quinton goes missing, so Amari starts to search for him. Amari discovers a suitcase full of secrets, a dragon and real-life magic. It is difficult to stop reading this book!

Nominated by Ashanti, young writer |  For 9-11 year olds

Jane McKeene is about to finish her education at Miss Preston’s School of Combat in Baltimore when she becomes caught up in a conspiracy. I loved reading dystopia and suspense novels when I was younger and I don’t think I ever read a book in my fave genre where all the main characters were black. Representation is so important and is particularly vital in literature.  I don’t think we can fully comprehend how much it means to read hear and see people who look like you .

Nominated by Maya Alexander, Ministry of Stories Development Coordinator | For 14-17 year olds

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My mother tongue is not English, my mother tongue is Turkish.  I am a total book lover.  I love reading and sailing to new horizons between the pages of the book I’m reading.  I touch new lives often. I love to close my eyes towards the unknown and live that period.  I think this book is a masterpiece and guides my philosophy of life.

Nominated by Bahar, mum to young writers Heja and Hivda | For 9 years+

I’m cheating here because it came out a long time ago but I read it recently. It’s about the Scottish Highland Clearances in the 1800s and how a Scottish farming family was forced to emigrate to Canada due to being evicted from their land to make way for… sheep! This happened to many Highland families at the time. Not a very happy subject but good for learning about history. 

Nominated by Sean, Writing Mentor | For 8 – 12 year olds

This book is all about an avocado having an existential crisis. It’s really fun and sweet and carries an important message for children and grown-ups. It’s an adventure of self-discovery about owning what makes you different and finding your tribe. It also has absolutely gorgeous illustrations that I’d like to frame! 

Nominated by Dorothy Cotter, Ministry of Stories Education Manager | For 4-8 year olds

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Wish I had read this as a child! It’s an amazing series in which the author becomes a character himself.

Nominated by Marjanah, Writing Mentor | For 9 years +

I’ve fallen in love with the Chris Haughton books over the last couple of years, reading and enjoying them with my two young daughters. A Bit Lost; Shh! We Have a Plan; and Oh no, George! There’s simplicity, wonderful illustrations, and playfulness. He’s brilliant at flipping perspective, settling you into a rhythm then upturning it, helping us to see the world a little differently in the process. There’s a good dose of compassion and worldly wisdom, all delivered with a gentle touch. I was lucky to have really rich picture books as a child, but these would certainly have been a welcome addition to the collection.  

Nominated by Rob Smith, Ministry of Stories Director | Age: 2-5 year olds

I loved creepy and scary stories when I was young like Nancy Drew and Famous Five, so one book I’ve really enjoyed for the creepy setting, humour and very realistic characters is Crater Lake by Jennifer Killick.  It starts off as a normal school residential trip and we meet an interesting and very realistic bunch of 11 year olds with their own issues and friendship problems,  but soon eerie and strange things start happening…I’m not spoiling it by saying that zombies are involved!  And there is a sequel which is brilliant.

Nominated by Jane Garner, teacher from Manorfield Primary School | For 9-11 year olds

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Nancy, Bess, and George are the main characters of the story, on board a cruise ship named the Arctic Star which has drifted into the dangerous waters of Alaska. Nancy and her friends need to make haste to unravel this mystery. The tale is full of strange happenings, and twists and turns.

Nominated by Ashanti, young writer | For 8-12 year olds

Elle McNicoll has won a whole host of awards and is an advocate for better representation of neurodiversity in publishing. Her most recent release, Like a Charm, has just been chosen as the Sunday Times Children’s Book of the Week. 

Nominated by Jessica Randall, Writing Programme Manager | For 8 years +

Alex and Conner are the main characters on a mission to stop the Masked Man. A team of fairy tale characters are ready to help them. A story of adventure, the Masked Man and his evil deadly magic may change things forever.

Nominated by Ashanti, young writer | For 9-14 year olds

This book is just so full of joy and possibility. It celebrates all the different ways somebody can be smart or succeed at something from being kind or making things or learning to tell the time. It’s such a captivating, positive message and a beautifully illustrated book. I think it would have been a real confidence booster when I was young. 

Nominated by Thea King-Woodward, Marketing Manager | For 4-6 year olds

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