Teachers' choice: 10 books for Rashford's reading club

Teachers suggest top reads for Manchester United star's new inclusive book club

Amy Gibbons

Marcus Rashford

It's a wonderful feeling: curling up with a book that transports you to a faraway place, leaving your own world waiting in the wings.

And it's something that footballer Marcus Rashford wants all children to experience, regardless of where they come from.

The Manchester United star has said he wishes he had the chance to read more as a child, but his family had to prioritise food over books when it came to budgeting.


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So now he's setting up his own book club to promote reading and literacy among children from all socioeconomic backgrounds.

"There were times where the escapism of reading could have really helped me," he said. "I want this escapism for all children, not just those that can afford it."

Inspired by Mr Rashford's plans, Tes asked teachers which titles they would recommend for escapism and to inspire disadvantaged children.

If they had to pick one book for the club to read, what would it be?

Here's what they said:

1. Holes, Louis Sachar

The residents of Camp Green Lake Juvenile Detention Centre have just one assignment each day: to dig a hole 5ft wide by 5ft deep, and report anything they find inside. But what are they looking for? Watch out for those yellow-spotted lizards!

2. The Wind in the Willows, Kenneth Grahame

A true classic. Immerse yourself in the English countryside and follow Mole, Rat, Badger and Toad on their adventures.

3. Unstoppable, Dan Freedman

Marcus Rashford himself has said of this book "you should definitely check it out". This is a story about a pair of sporty twins, once close, now at odds with each other  and both hiding dangerous secrets.

4. Noughts and Crosses, Malorie Blackman

Two people told us they would recommend anything by Malorie Blackman – so we've picked the eponymous novel from her famous series Noughts and Crosses. Sephy and Callum are best friends, but there is one key thing separating them: Sephy is a "Cross"  a member of the "dark-skinned ruling class", and Callum is a "nought" – "a 'colourless' member of the underclass". When romance builds between the pair, their relationship puts them both in terrible danger.

 5. Diary of a Killer Cat, Anne Fine

Tuffy is in trouble, but he can't see the big deal. After all, cats are bound to drag dead birds into the house, aren't they? As told by the Killer Cat himself.

6. Fantastic Mr Fox, Roald Dahl

Evil farmers Boggis, Bunce and Bean are after Mr Fox. He's been stealing chickens, and they're not happy about it. He's proved his craftiness up till now, but can Mr Fox feed the forest when it really counts?

7. The Worst Witch, Jill Murphy

In the first instalment of this magical series, poor Mildred Hubble, a first-year student at Miss Cackle's Academy for Witches, finds herself in a bit of a pickle  on more than one occasion. Chaos ensues.

8. The Butterfly Lion, Michael Morpurgo

Known for his heart-wrenching tales, Michael Morpurgo is one of the most beloved children's writers of his generation. The Butterfly Lion tells the story of Millie and Bertie, who meet at a boarding school in Wiltshire, and the search for Bertie's adopted white lion cub, who he was forced to send away as a child.

9. The Lives of Christopher Chant, Diana Wynn Jones

Distressed by his warring parents, young Christopher Chant finds solace in his dreams, which he uses to escape to other worlds. But there is a twist: when Christopher returns from his magical trips, he can bring things with him.

10. The Secret Garden, Frances Hodgson Burnett

Mary Lennox, a neglected child from a wealthy family, is put in the care of her uncle Archibald Craven after a cholera epidemic kills her parents. There, she learns of a private walled garden where her aunt used to grow roses. Intrigued, Mary begins her search.

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Amy Gibbons

Amy Gibbons

Amy Gibbons is a reporter at Tes

Find me on Twitter @tweetsbyames

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