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RNIB makes accessible books free for children in England for World Book Day’s 25th anniversary

To celebrate World Book Day on Thursday (3 March), the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) is giving away thousands of books in braille and audio formats for children with sight loss across the UK.

The selection of 13 titles aims to support World Book Day’s mission to encourage reading and give every child and young person a book of their own.

Eleven-year-old Tegen Mellow from Cornwall has glaucoma, an eye condition where the optic nerve which connects the eye to the brain becomes damaged. She has undergone several eye operations to help her sight and now takes multiple eyedrops every day.

Tegen is an avid reader and a big fan of RNIB Talking Books and has chosen Boy, Missing by Sophie Mackenzie from the list of titles RNIB has made accessible to celebrate World Book Day.

“It’s really fun reading about all of the different adventures in the stories. There are so many RNIB Talking Books to choose from, but my favourite authors are Roald Dahl and Daisy Meadows. I love that every book is a mystery, and it inspires me when I write my own stories too.”

Tegen Mellow from Cornwall

Tegen’s mum, Cheryl, praised RNIB’s free accessible book offer as she spoke about one of the symptoms of Tegen’s eye condition. Cheryl explained: “She often needs vision breaks because of eye strain, so to be able to get a book for free in audio is great for Tegen. She loves reading so much and doesn’t miss out this way.”

Organised by UNESCO, World Book Day is marked in more than 100 countries around the world, with 2022 being the 25th year of celebrations.

World Book Day organisers are encouraging parents, children, and young people of all ages to spend at least ten minutes a day sharing a book together and celebrate reading for pleasure, helping to promote wellbeing for everyone.

James Bartlett, Reading Services Manager, said: “RNIB is proud to support the twenty-fifth anniversary of World Book Day, which is a great way to encourage children (and adults) to read. The braille and audio versions of these books ensure that blind and partially sighted people have the option to access stories just like any other person. Inclusivity is important so people with different backgrounds and disabilities can join in on the fun and celebrate World Book Day together.”