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New govt campaign to boost book sales and literacy

8th February 2012

A new campaign being launched by the government will aim to increase the number of books being read by the nation's schoolchildren in an effort to improve literacy across the UK.

Schools minister Nick Gibb announced that the scheme will take the form of a competition challenging children around the country to read as many books as they can, thereby improving both book sales and reading standards.

He explained that children who read books for just 30 minutes a day will be the equivalent of a full year's schooling ahead of the UK average by the time they reach the age of 15.

'There is a group of children who can read but won't read – the reluctant readers. A new national reading competition is designed to give a competitive spur to those reluctant readers who are missing out on the vast world of literature,' Mr Gibb added.

Ministers are hoping that the campaign, which is set to be launched in the autumn, will appeal particularly to boys, as one in ten male school pupils aged 11 only have the reading age of a seven-year-old.

The scheme will have a particular emphasis on fiction, with the competition element based around who can finish the most books in a set timeframe and local, regional and national prizes awarded to the most prolific readers.

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