Fresh from his free school meal campaign, Marcus Rashford has launched a book club to help children experience the escapism of reading.
The Manchester United player has teamed up with Macmillan Children’s Books (MCB) in an effort to promote reading and literacy to children across all socio-economic backgrounds.
He said he wishes he had been given the chance to read earlier in life, adding his family prioritised food over books when it came to budgeting.
MCB says there will be a focus on getting books to those from vulnerable and under-privileged backgrounds.
YOU ARE A CHAMPION: Unlock Your Potential, Find Your Voice And Be The BEST You Can Be will be the first title of the partnership – an illustrated non-fiction title aimed at 11 to 16-year-olds, to be published in May next year.
Carl Anka, a journalist for The Atlantic and Katie Warriner, a performance psychologist, will be co-create the book, in which each chapter will start with a story from Rashford’s own life that will look at the value of education, positivity, female role models and understanding culture.
Two more titles will follow in 2021 and 2022.
Rashford said: “I only started reading at 17, and it completely changed my outlook and mentality.
“I just wish I was offered the opportunity to really engage with reading more as a child, but books were never a thing we could budget for as a family when we needed to put food on the table.
“There were times where the escapism of reading could have really helped me. I want this escapism for all children. Not just those that can afford it.
“We know there are over 380,000 children across the UK today that have never owned a book, children that are in vulnerable environments. That has to change.
“My books are, and always will be, for every child, even if I have to deliver them myself. We will reach them.”