On World Book Day 2011, we distributed 50,000 free copies of The Unforgotten Coat, written exclusively for us. Now we want you to tell us what you think of it, and who you have shared it with.
March 2011 saw The Reader Organisation’s biggest ever book giveaway, with 50,000 free copies of The Unforgotten Coat, a story written especially for us by author and The Reader Organisation supporter and patron Frank Cottrell Boyce, making their way across Merseyside, the UK and much further beyond. From a brilliant launch day with reading on a train – featuring Frank himself – to chain reads of the story, workshops and trips to festivals, The Unforgotten Coat has proved to be a runaway success with our readers across the world. The story has proved such a delight that it scooped the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize 2012 – an amazing outcome of the phenomenon that is The Unforgotten Coat.
Even though the “big book giveaway” is over, Our Read is still going strong! Readers of all ages and in a huge variety of settings have loved the story – and we want you to keep reading and sharing your copies of The Unforgotten Coat, and letting us know how you’ve enjoyed it.
What Our Readers Think
The response to Our Read has been amazing and it’s all thanks to you! Not only did we enjoy a fantastic launch day with media coverage from (to name a few), BBC North West, Granada Reports, BBC Radio Merseyside and The Guardian, we have also been inundated with Our Read postcards, requests from schools to get involved and glowing reports of The Unforgotten Coat’s reception with people of all ages. One young reader said,
“Personally I think this book is for anybody because it doesn’t matter whether you are old or young, you will enjoy this book. This book is packed with excitement and Frank Cottrell-Boyce gave it a twist. The story is written in a journal by Julie and it’s like you have jumped in her journal, stepped in her footsteps and met every character yourself.”
ESOL students in Liverpool have also been enjoying the book, and have been really enthusiastic about the idea of passing on their copy to friends and family, provoking discussion. Here are a few of their comments:
“It helps me to improve my English skills. The story was just unbelievable. I also like it because all of the students in the class were happy.”
“The book was fabulous – simple and quick to read and possible to share with my child!”
“It is just very good; it makes me remember so many beautiful days.”
The book has also proved to be a hit with many of our Get Into Reading groups across the UK.
Our Read postcards came into the office thick and fast, and not just from Liverpool – we’ve received postcards from Scotland, Wales and London – and some from a little further afield – Spain, Argentina, Australia, Bulgaria and Hong Kong. Please keep them coming – it’s fantastic discovering the whereabouts of all Our Readers! Send any postcards or comments to Our Read, The Friary Centre, Bute Street, Liverpool L5 3LA. Don’t forget, you can still follow us on Twitter (@Our_Read) and make friends with us on Facebook: upload your photos, tell us who you’ve been reading the book with and who you’re going to pass it on to next. You can also get in touch by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Esther McVey: “Last year, tourism was worth £2.8 billion to the Liverpool city region. It is crucial to our region, and it is also a growing sector of our industry. Literature is part of the tourism offer, and as today is world book day and, as I speak, Frank Cottrell Boyce and a team of kids from Merseyside are on their way down to Euston with a local charity, the Reader Organisation, will the Minister extend his gratitude to the charity for the dynamic work that it is doing?”
John Penrose: “I am delighted and happy to praise both world book day and the Reader Organisation. The role of the creative arts in Liverpool’s regeneration and recent economic growth is undoubted, and the city got off to a brilliant start in 2008, when it was the capital of culture.”
(Hansard, 3rd March 2011)
You can download The Unforgotten Coat reading guide here. (Many thanks to Get Into Reading Project Worker, Patrick Fisher, for writing this for Our Read.)
We have also developed a resource pack with the Bluecoat, designed to engage children with the themes of photographs and storytelling, prompted from The Unforgotten Coat, which is available on the Bluecoat’s website: www.thebluecoat.org.uk/content/primary-schools
about our read
The Unforgotten Coat has been beautifully produced by children’s publisher Walker Books and features original photography by Liverpool photographers Carl Hunter and Clare Heney. It is primarily a book for young people, especially those between 10-16 years, but everybody, young or old, reader or non-reader, will be able to enjoy this unforgettable story.
From 50,000 giveaway copies, an unlimited number of people can unite in a unique reading experience, and with one another. We encourage the book to be shared: parents with children, by children with siblings and friends, by teachers with their colleagues and own families
If you missed it, you can still see what happened on Our Read launch day on our blog!
the history of our read
Our Read has grown out of the popularity of our annual reading campaign, Liverpool Reads, which started in 2003. The success of Liverpool Reads, and the growing work of The Reader Organisation beyond Merseyside, has meant that we’ve had to expand the reach of our big book giveaway, so now we have Our Read.
2009 saw Liverpool Reads’ most successful year yet, with the distribution of 20,000 copies of The Savage by David Almond. Thousands of people from all different kinds of backgrounds across Merseyside not only read the book but engaged with it in a number of exciting ways through workshops, events and drama, art, music and sporting activities.