A free book has been given to every child leaving primary school in Manchester this July as part of a city-wide first to help prepare them for starting high school in September.

The Bee Ready, Bee a Reader scheme has given over 7,000 children in year 6 at primary school a free copy of the “The Kid Who Came From Space“ (HarperCollins Children’s Books) by award winning author Ross Welford.  Every child has also received an enrichment pack with activity ideas linked to the book, including making a solar system from household objects and designing a comic strip.  The book is a science fiction adventure full of humour and compassion, which celebrates the joy of friendship and love, with an underlying message of striving to do your best.  A perfect choice for 2020!

Bee Ready, Bee a Reader will hopefully encourage children to read over summer – particularly important this year given the amount of time most of them have had out of the classroom during lockdown. The transition between Year 6 and Year 7 can be a difficult time for some children and this year the Covid-19 crisis means many will be facing this change without the help they would usually get from their primary school teachers, friends and new high schools.  Reading the same book and getting involved in activities will give all year 6 pupils a shared experience with their new class-mates when they start their new high school and something to chat about.

Ross Welford, author of The Kid Who Came From Space, said:

“I’m delighted that Year 6 children across Manchester will get the chance to read my book as part of Read Manchester’s Bee Ready, Bee a Reader project. It’s a pleasure to support pupils as they make the move to secondary school, through what has been a challenging time for everybody. I hope the story will give them the chance to build new friendships as they reach this exciting milestone!”

Ross kindly recorded a Welcome video for us, watch it here.

If you’re interested in doing your own Enrichment Activities, you can download our resource pack here

Don’t forget that if you’re a Year 6 leaver in July 2020, you can enter our StoryStarter competition with Ross Welford as judge! Closing date 30 September.The Bee Ready, Bee a Reader scheme is led by Read Manchester – a Manchester City Council campaign in partnership with the National Literacy Trust.

See our full press release here.