Today a reader, tomorrow a leader.

By   Zoila Marenco 2 min read

Most of us remember a book that had a big effect on us when we were growing up. Perhaps we found it at home, or maybe a teacher introduced us to a great story at school. However we came across it, it’s vital that we provide the same opportunity for discovery to children today to encourage them to get into reading early on. But what are kids reading these days? And which stories are capturing their imaginations now?

In December 2023, Whitefox Publishing gifted a book voucher to a primary school in Camberwell, London, for their local bookshop, Ink@84. The selection curated by Ink@84 offers a glimpse into the preferences of younger readers today, ranging from thrilling adventures to intriguing mysteries and thought-provoking stories. Some of their top picks are New Kid by Jerry Craft, Amari and the Night Brothers by B.B. Alston and Impossible Creatures by Katherine Rundell. 

According to recent studies, the habit of reading for pleasure among children has seen a slight decline over the recent years. A survey conducted by the National Literacy Trust revealed that only two in five (43.4%) children and young people aged eight to eighteen said they enjoyed reading in 2023. This is the lowest level since they first asked the question in 2005. And fewer than three in ten (28%) children and young people aged eight to eighteen said that they read daily, matching levels seen in 2022. 

Inspiring new generation of readers Whitefox publishing

We asked some children’s book authors to share a few of their tips for parents and educators on how to make reading with children a fun and engaging experience. 

Emi North, author of Cookie and the Sprite Garden, released in May, said the best way to do this is through exploration, allowing a child to discover and select books that follow their own interests. This might be an infographic or activity book that allows the child to build upon their passion, be it space, animals, dinosaurs or, in Cookie’s case, sprites! North believes the illustrations within books have the power to really engage readers.

illustrations Emi North children books

According to research by the National Literacy Trust in 2018, not reading at the expected level puts children at an increased risk of experiencing unemployment and poor health in adult life. Thus, encouraging literacy and a passion for reading is essential for educational development.

National Children’s Day, celebrated on 12 May, reminds us of the significance of supporting children’s growth and well-being. Encouraging a love for reading not only enriches their present but also equips them with essential skills for the future.

As the saying goes, ‘Today a reader, tomorrow a leader’

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Zoila Marenco
Zoila Marenco
Zoila has five years of experience in client management. She transitioned from working in an organisation offering talent management services to a tech startup specialising in behavioural change in teams. Her experience with clients and communities prompted her move to marketing, taking on the role of a community manager to help Whitefox build, expand and oversee online communities.