One of the world’s most popular novelists, Barbara Taylor Bradford, has thrown her weight behind the Yorkshire Evening Post’s Get Leeds Reading campaign.
And the best-selling author, who was born in Armley and started her writing career as a journalist with the YEP, is returning to Leeds tomorrow to meet fans.
The talented writer, whose novels have sold more than 88m copies worldwide, is holding a question and answer session at Harewood House tomorrow about her latest book The Cavendon Women.
Already a proud ambassador for the National Literacy Trust, Barbara was keen to back our reading campaign to raise literacy standards in primary schools across the city she grew up in.
The YEP has joined forces with national literacy charity Beanstalk to recruit an army of 50 volunteers to provide pupils with one-to-one support.
We are also urging parents and carers to read with children for at least 10 minutes EVERY day, after we revealed how almost 1,000 pupils left primary schools in Leeds last year without learning to read properly.
I always point out that reading is necessary but not just for pleasure, reading is vital for your very existence.Barbara Taylor Bradford
Barbara, whose enduring novel A Woman of Substance has sold over 32m copies since its publication in 1979, said: “Not being able to read is a death sentence.
“Imagine not being able to read a street name, a label on a bottle of pills, or a written warning that a place they are in is dangerous.
“I really support this campaign in Leeds which is endeavouring to get people reading, if only for 10 or 15 minutes a day.
“I always point out that reading is necessary but not just for pleasure, reading is vital for your very existence.”
The former Fleet Street journalist, who was appointed an OBE in 2007 for her services to literature, has seen her novels sold in more than 90 countries and 40 languages.
She added: “Some people don’t want to pick up a book, so let them pick up a magazine, newspaper or read online.
“This does not just apply to children but adults too.”
For more details about tomorrow’s event visit www.barbarataylorbradford.co.uk.
GET LEEDS READING
Beanstalk is a national literacy charity that recruits, vets and supports volunteers to help children who have fallen behind with their reading.
The charity trains volunteers to read with pupils in their local primary schools. No previous experience is required as you will be fully trained.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 0845 450 0344.