Bath Festivals has announced the launch of the Reading is Magic Festival for young people, bringing together UK and international festivals to create and deliver a free, inclusive and engaging digital schools and family programme that promotes the value of reading and books.
Bath Festivals has joined forces with Bradford Literature Festival, Borders Book Festival, Boswell Book Festival, North Cornwall Book Festival, Wigtown Book Festival, and Toronto International Festival of Authors to put on more than 25 events over six days.
The festival has been inspired by Cressida Cowell’s key message as the current Waterstones Children’s Laureate: “reading is magic, and magic is for everyone”. The award-winning children’s author and creator of the How to Train Your Dragon and The Wizards of Once book series said, “Books have a transformative magic in their unique ability to develop three key magical powers; intelligence, creativity and empathy.”
In association with Cressida, the festival will set a daily theme drawing on specific points from her Waterstones Children’s Laureate Charter , declaring that ‘every child has the right to…’
• Be creative for at least 15 minutes a week
• Have a planet to read on
• See themselves reflected in a book
• Have advice from a trained librarian or bookseller
The Reading is Magic Festival will promote creativity and connection through stories and shared experiences, creating content for children and young people in primary and secondary schools. The festival will open its virtual doors on Sunday 27 September and will feature an all-star line-up of leading authors and illustrators throughout the week.
Cressida Cowell, Waterstones Children’s Laureate 2019 – 2022:
“I was delighted when Bath Festivals suggested the Reading is Magic Festival in partnership with a network of other festivals, based on some of the themes in my Waterstones Children’s Laureate Charter – the giant ‘to do list’ I announced on my appointment as Children’s Laureate. Research shows that reading for the joy of it has powerful, measurable real-life benefits that can transform lives. This ‘magic’ ought to be available to everyone which is why the work literature festivals do with their local school communities to inspire a love of reading is so important. I am excited that the wonderful virtual programme of events in the Reading is Magic Festival will be available, for free, to schools up and down the country and internationally, so that young people, whether at home or in their classroom bubbles can experience the magic of books and reading.”