We're delighted that so many fantastic writers are lending their support to Schoolreaders.  And who better than these amazing authors to help us spread the word about the importance of acquiring literacy at an early age?  We thank all these writers for their commitment and enthusiasm and for their help in promoting the scheme. 

Joanna has been writing for over thirty years and is well known for her enormously successful works of fiction.  She has been described as one of the most insightful chroniclers and social commentators writing today.  Her astute characterisation and gift for creating compelling dialogue have earned her a legion of fans, and her books have been the subject of several highly successful TV adaptations.

We were delighted when Joanna joined Schoolreaders for a special fundraising lunch at Woburn Abbey in December 2019.  Joanna has long been a champion of good early literacy, and she gave an inspiring and authoritative talk to our 200 guests.  We thank Joanna for her continuing support. 

"I absolutely support Schoolreaders' work in tackling the problem of poor literacy in this country"


At the age of 24, while working as a financial journalist, Sophie Kinsella (whose real name is Madeleine Wickham) wrote her first novel. ‘The Tennis Party’ was an immediate success with critics and the public and became a top-ten best-seller.  Sophie has since published more than 20 novels, mostly under the name of Sophie Kinsella (her own middle name and her mother's maiden name).  She is best known for her ‘Shopaholic’ series which focuses on the misadventures of Becky Bloomwood, a City journalist incapable of managing her own finances.  Sophie has recently turned to writing fiction for a younger audience, with the publication of ‘Finding Audrey’ – for the Young Adult market – and ‘Mummy Fairy and Me’.

"Schoolreaders is doing fantastic work giving children vital literacy skills and showing them the pleasure and fun of reading!  I am absolutely delighted to be associated with the wonderful Schoolreaders!"


California-born Robin Stevens moved to England as a child and was raised in Oxford where her early ambition to run a zoo was replaced by a wish to become a writer.  When she was 12, Robin met the author Colin Dexter who subsequently wrote to her and encouraged her to follow up on her plans to write; a highly successful series of murder mystery stories for children has been the result.  Titles like 'Murder Most Unladylike', 'Arsenic for Tea' and 'Top Marks for Murder' have won awards and hit the best-seller lists on both sides of the Atlantic.

"Children need to be shown how exciting, fascinating and enjoyable reading can be, and once they learn that, they can learn anything else. Schoolreaders can pass on the magic of reading to children - it's a wonderful way to make a difference."


Jeremy Strong has been writing for children for over forty years and produced more than a hundred books. He has always been keen to encourage and develop children’s reading skills and to that end he has successfully targeted 6-9 year old children in particular, using practical knowledge gained from teaching at primary level for fifteen years. Humour is his hallmark and he has also won several book awards during his long career, including the coveted Children’s Book Award, which he won for THE HUNDRED MILE AN HOUR DOG. (He likes to point out that he won that award the year before J K Rowling won it for the first Harry Potter Book. So he got it first!) He is a regular visitor in schools and book festivals world-wide.

"Schoolreaders is doing brilliant work. Reading is at the heart of education and gives children a skill that will not only be vital to their future but will also bring them the infinite joy and pleasure of books."


Giles is one of the UK’s most popular picture book authors, with many bestselling and award-winning titles to his name. These include 'Giraffes Can't Dance', ‘ Rumble in the Jungle’, ‘Commotion in the Ocean’ and ‘Pants’.  Recent work includes ‘Winnie-the-Pooh: The Great Heffalump Hunt’, commissioned to celebrate the 90th anniversary of the publication of the first Winnie-the-Pooh book, as well as the ever popular ‘I Love’… series, illustrated by Emma Dodd. Giles’s children’s books have sold over 10 million copies worldwide. Giles lives with his wife, Victoria, a children’s clothes designer, and their 4 children beside the river in Oxfordshire.

“Schoolreaders’ grass roots work in sharing an enthusiasm for books and reading is an invaluable legacy for children on so many levels. It’s a fantastic organisation.”


Isabel studied Human Sciences and trained as a journalist before becoming a science writer. She has written more than 150 books for young people and has been shortlisted for the ASE Science Book of the Year, the Royal Society Young People's Book Prize, the English 4-11 Picture Book Award, and the Blue Peter Book Awards. Isabel also writes outreach resources for organizations such as The Wellcome Trust and monthly features for children's science magazines Whizz Pop Bang! and The Week Junior Science + Nature. She blogs and vlogs about primary literacy and science for Oxford Education.

"As a volunteer reader myself, I have seen first-hand thow regular one-to-one reading support can transform a child's relationship with books and reading, unlocking a lifetime of opportunities. Volunteering as a Schoolreader is a practical and impactful way to help tackle the literacy gap and make a real difference to children's lives. "


Antonia joined Blenheim Palace in 2008 as a member of the Education Team later becoming the Palace’s Social Historian and Researcher. Both roles have involved her curating a number of exhibitions at Blenheim Palace including the highly successful ‘Passion for Fashion’ upon which her latest book is based. Antonia greatly enjoys public speaking and has delivered a ‘Conversation’ at Cumberland Lodge, Windsor and been In Conversation with fashion editor, Caroline Issa. She was also a guest on Radio 4’s Saturday Live with the Reverend Richard Coles and Aasmah Mir and has appeared on BBC’s Country File and Channel 4’s Phil Spencer’s Stately Homes. In her spare time, Antonia enjoys the company of her family and her dogs – particularly Percy, a wire-haired Dachshund, who inspired her to write and illustrate her first children’s book – 'Percy at the Palace'.   Percy recently made his debut at the Oxford Literary Festival and behaved impeccably!

"Reading is such a wonderful way to be transported into other lives and other worlds – whether they are flights of fantasy or based on fact;  you’ll always have a friend when you have a book beside you!"


Photo © Barker Evans

Photo © John Swannell

Photo © Alexandra Dao

Tony de Saulles’ background is in graphic design and typography.  His skill as a cartoonist saw him working on the best-selling multi award-winning ‘Horrible Science’ series for many years.  The ‘Horrible Science’ books have sold in their millions around the world, and spin-offs include a highly successful range of experiment kits from Galt Toys, a theatre show from the Birmingham Stage Company and a children’s television series on ITV.  Tony’s own books include ‘The Deep Dark Sea’ (2015), ‘The Loch Ness Monster Spotters’ (2017), and he has recently published the first book in a planned trilogy, ‘Bee Boy – Clash of the Killer Queens’ (2018).   Tony holds lots of workshops where he shares his love of creating funny and informative cartoons; ‘I’ve visited many of the big book festivals – it’s great to escape the studio every now and then! Life is strange – I used to be told off at school for doodling and now I get paid for it!’


Lucy Lethbridge is a writer of books on social history, and is the author of several books for children.  Shehas written extensively on the ‘below-stairs’ life of Victorian and Edwardian Britain, digging deep into the often strange, and sometimes revolting methods used to maintain household cleanliness.  Lucy also writes for magazines and newspapers including 'The Observer', 'The Sunday Telegraph', 'The Independent on Sunday' and 'The Times Literary Supplement'. She has been Literary Editor of both 'The Tablet' and 'The Catholic Herald'.  For the excellent children’s history series, ‘Who Was ….?’, Lucy tackled characters as diverse as ‘St Francis of Assisi, Patron Saint of Animals’ and ‘Annie Oakley, Sharpshooter of the Wild West’.  Her book on ‘Ada Lovelace, the Computer Wizard of Victorian Britain’, won the Blue Peter Book Award for non-fiction in 2002.


Catherine  Alliott started writing in 1983 having previously been a copywriter in an advertising agency.  She is the author of fifteen best-selling novels, the most recent of which, ‘About Last Night’, is published by Penguin.  She lives in Hertfordshire with her husband and three children.  She says, ‘I am delighted to support this amazing organisation, Schoolreaders, which is already greatly improving children's literacy’.



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