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About the project

“This project was so much more than simply receiving and decorating a BookBench. It offered children the opportunity to engage in books in a much wider, more significant context. [...] It captured their imaginations and took them on a journey - both in the classroom and on the trail! All the children were so engaged and motivated by the project but I feel this project particularly benefited the boys in my year group. The range of BookBenches that were designed by male authors or were based on action-packed story lines such as Stormbreaker by Anthony Horowitz appealed to the boys and provoked a genuine interest in books.”
Teacher, St Michael's CE Primary School

Books about Town for Schools was inspired by the public art event, Books about Town, that celebrated London's literary heritage by placing 51 BookBenches illustrated with well-known stories on the streets of London during summer 2014. These BookBenches have now been auctioned off to raise much needed funds for the National Literacy Trust. The project aims to increase pupils' reading attainment and enjoyment of reading by building teachers' skills and knowledge around teaching whole texts, quality children's literature and promoting reading for pleasure.

100 primary and secondary schools across London participated in Books about Town for Schools in 2014/2015, thanks to funding from the London School Excellence Fund.  Now funding from the Man Charitable Trust is enabling 20 more lucky London schools to benefit from this fantastic professional development programme.  From September 2015 Books about Town for Schools will be available to schools across the country as 1 and 3 day Reading for Enjoyment training, as part of the NLT’s Outstanding Literacy Leadership Programme for primary and secondary schools. 

Visit our training page to learn more.

As part of the project, each participating school has the opportunity to purchase their very own BookBench to design and decorate with a chosen favourite story or character - such as this The Borrowers BookBench created by Brandlehow Primary School, Putney.

the borrowers


The National Literacy Trust is a registered charity no. 1116260 and a company limited by guarantee no. 5836486 registered in England and Wales and a registered charity in Scotland no. SC042944.
Registered address: 68 South Lambeth Road, London SW8 1RL.