Children in Sheffield encouraged to read and 'Look for a Book' hidden throughout city

A secret book hunt is taking place across Sheffield in which children are encouraged to get outdoors and discover a love for reading.

By Alana Roberts
Wednesday, 2nd October 2019, 11:51 am
Twins Emily and Grace hiding books for our Athena Rocks Books group
Twins Emily and Grace hiding books for our Athena Rocks Books group

Dozens of books have been hidden in various locations throughout Sheffield by a team from Usborne, a UK publisher of children's books, as part of a project aimed at spreading a love for books and a love of reading to children living in the city.

The project is similar to the Look for a Book initiative and takes its inspiration from the rock painting scheme which has been a massive hit not only in Sheffield, but across the country.

It has already enticed thousands of parents and their children to go on the hunt for new reading material and works by encouraging families to hide their own old books in locations and to post clues or photos on Facebook to help other children find the hidden treasures.

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Twins Emily and Grace hiding books for our Athena Rocks Books group

But instead of hiding old books, the team will be hiding books published by Usborne.

Children will also get the chance to win individual prizes or offers which may be found within the hidden book.

Carron Charlesworth, an independent Usborne organiser, is spearheading the project in Sheffield.

She said: "In this day and age a lot of children are always using screens, on their iPads and their phones and are losing touch with reading. The project is about bringing them back to books, so they are familiar with having a book in their hand and knowing what it is to read whether they are a novice or not.

"If there is a fun element they are more engaged with reading, they are out looking for a book and have to read it then re-hide it. It is something that excites them and encourages them to get out and about in the fresh air, do some exercise but also has that learning element too, it's called stealth learning.

"We've been hiding the books around Sheffield, putting them in resealable bags so they don't get damaged from the rain," Ms. Charlesworth added.

"Once a child discovers a book they're invited to enjoy the book and read it before either passing it on to someone else or re-hiding it.

"Each book also comes with a tracker sheet, and we ask the person who found to book to take either a picture of themselves or where they found the book and post it on our Facebook page Athena Rocks Books."

The Look for a Book Facebook page can be found here.