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adult literacy

The Reading Agency and National Literacy Trust are working together to address the adult literacy crisis with the help of some short stories by best-selling authors

Reading is one of life’s simple pleasures, it’s a great way to relax and simply shut yourself off from the noise and clamour of the world not to mention the health benefits.

Guildford-based author Adele Parks is an ambassador for The Reading Agency and National Literacy Trust and believes reading is a basic human right. She is one of several who have written a short story for the literacy programme Quick Reads, part of The Reading Agency charity which is working to address the adult literacy crisis.

One in three adults do not regularly read for pleasure and one in six adults find reading difficult and these short stories that form the collection A Fresh Start aim to address just that. The accessible books help bring the pleasures and benefits of reading to all who have fallen out of the habit.

Adele’s contribution A Quiet Road follows Annie and her new neighbour, a divorced woman with a penchant for night-time gardening – her tale is included along with that of several other best-selling authors such as Clare Mackintosh, Ian Rankin, Sophie Kinsella, Adam Kay and Jojo Moyes whose philanthropic gift enabled the literacy programme to return in 2020.

Among the books are:

A Quiet Road – Adele Parks
The Reading Agency ambassador has sold three and a half million books in the UK. In her contribution for A Fresh Start, a new neighbour raises the tone of the neighbourhood and Annie is only too pleased.The neighbour is divorced comes with a big chest freezer and likes a spot of night-time gardening. How can Annie have got her so wrong?

This is Going to Hurt – Adam Kay
Adam’s diary of life as a junior doctor was written in secret after long days, sleepless nights and missed weekends while regularly working 97 hours a week. It’s all you ever wanted to know about life on and off the hospital ward.

The Donor – Clare Mackintosh
Clare said: “Quick Reads addresses a very real need – pacey, good-quality storytelling, in an accessible format – and I’m honoured to be contributing to 2020’s line-up with a story I’ve been wanting to write for several years.” Her story centres on Lizzie whose daughter Meg has had a heart transplant. Karen, the mother of the donor gets in touch but Lizzie begins to feel something isn’t right.

You and Me – Mike Gayle
Mike is the author of 16 novels and has written for many magazines and newspapers. His poignant story tells of a newly-single father taking his teenage daughter shoping for the first time.
Check out all these fabulous short stories and more in A Fresh Start available from 20th February.

More info

The titles are available for just £1 at bookshops and are free to borrow from libraries. They are used across the country in colleges, prisons, trade unions, hospitals and adult learning organisations.
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