World Book Day - Texts on the Programme


Reading Plus is equipped with a library of more than 1,000 texts about various people, places, and events to provide students with more opportunities to find themselves reflected within the texts and offer the reader a view of experiences, emotions and lifestyles outside of their own.

Reading is a great way to tackle children's emotions head-on and address mental well-being and identity issues. Books can help children navigate their feelings in a range of ways. Reading stories centred around managing emotions, different cultures, and similar or different lifestyles to their own can teach beneficial lessons to children.

Stories also have an essential role in expanding awareness of the world around us and representing a familiar world. If done accurately and frequently, this can have beneficial effects on children’s mental health. Scholar Rudine Sims Bishop refers to these texts as mirrors and windows, calling for more diversity in children’s books.

All of these benefits mean it is pivotal that reading is accessible to all children equally.

World Book Day.

Inclusion is at the heart of World Book Day. The theme for 2023, which took place on the 2nd of March, was “Your World Book Day”, with the purpose of their celebrations to be inclusive and fun for everyone.

World Book Day is a charity operating in the UK and Ireland sponsored by National Book Tokens dedicated to promoting reading for pleasure by giving every child the opportunity to have a book of their own. The ability to read for pleasure has monumental effects on a child’s well-being – it holds social and emotional benefits, but research from The Organisation for Economic Co-operation & Development also shows that it is the biggest indicator of a child’s future success regardless of their background.

Reading Plus texts focussed on emotions.

Reading Plus offers a range of texts focusing on characters experiencing emotionally turbulent times and how they learn to handle these difficult emotions. Encountering these experiences through a fictional space enables children to develop their ability to recognise and communicate their feelings unknowingly.

Just a few include:

 Grandma’s Box – Level HiC

Identifying emotions and analysing how to respond to them is an important part of overcoming difficult situation. Karla is upset about Grandma’s illness. Can Karla find a way to make her and her family happy again?

 What Makes a Friend? – Level C

James is sad. Pete is angry. Alice is upset. It’s a good thing they have friends who can help them!

 New House – Pre-A

A boy finds out his family is moving to a new house. Is he happy about the move?

 Dancing in the Moonlight – Level K

After a serious football injury, Sam gets a highly trained monkey that not only assists him physically but helps him emotionally.

 The Apple Seller’s Tale – Level HiC

An apple seller tells a tale about a time when the world was full of fear and darkness, yet some kindness was found in the most unlikely of places.

 The South Side’s Superstar – Level H

Self-awareness is about recognising your emotions and understanding how they influence your behaviour. This selection reveals a lot about Michelle Obama as it follows the years of her life at Princeton University and Harvard Law School. What role did self-awareness play in Michelle Obama’s life during this time?

 Siddhartha’s Journey – Level I

Self-management is the ability to manage your thoughts and feelings, cope with stress, and think about the way you act or behave in different situations. How do Buddhists think about stress, emotions, or self-discipline? Why is thinking about this important in Buddhism?

 Kristen and Maya – Level B

Sometimes we can feel a certain way about someone, and what we feel may not be true. Maya. Maya. Maya. That’s all Kristen hears from her Gramma. She’s sick of it!

Reading Plus diverse texts. 

Rudine Sims Bishop’s concept of mirrors and windows within children’s texts is simple yet important.

Mirrors are where the reader can see themselves reflected within texts, whereas windows offer the reader a view of experiences and lifestyles that differ from their own. This has been proven to improve the mental health and well-being among children – for more information check out our blog post dedicated to the benefits of mirrors and windows.

Due to the power that diversity has, it is very important to us to include a range of representations in our texts.

A few include:

A Lesser-Known History – Level I

This image shows Nat Love, a cowboy in the West during the late 1800s and early 1900s. Historically, one in four cowboys was Black. So why aren’t they more present in popular culture?

 A Love of Science and Flight – Level K

Major Robert H. Lawrence was the first African American astronaut and an innovator in flight and aeronautics.

 The Code Talkers – Level G

The Navajo language was used for a secret code that was impossible to crack during World War II. The Navajo Code Talkers, like the Tuskegee Airmen, were not officially honoured for their war contributions until many years later.

 The Golden Eagle – Level J

Mission specialist John Bennett Herrington was the first tribally enrolled Native American in space.

 Luis Soriano’s Special Delivery – Level A

This selection describes how a teacher in Colombia is helping students to get books. Write a story from a student’s point of view. Describe the teacher, his library with legs, and what it is like when he visits your village. Tell about the kinds of books you borrow from him and why you like them.

 Lucky Meeting

One day, a rooster follows Mr. Chang home–and then his luck begins to change.

 Abeo’s Boots – Level G

People are frequently moving from place to place in today’s global society. Many of them, like Abeo and her family. A girl from Africa finds a new home and friends in America.

 Party Time! – Level E

The selection “Party Time!” describes unusual festivals. There’s a festival for just about every occasion you can imagine and some you can’t.

 Overcoming Challenges – Level E

Throughout history, athletes with disabilities have sought to level the playing field in sports. These are their stories. In this text, the author brings up the IPC’s controversial decision to not allow swimmer Victoria Arlen to compete because “her paralysis was not permanent enough.”




To provide your students with texts tailored to maintaining children’s mental well-being, find out more about Reading Plus by using the form below, and a member of our team will be in touch.


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