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RNIB makes accessible books free for children in Northern Ireland for World Book Day

To celebrate World Book Day on Thursday (4 March), the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) is giving away thousands of books in braille and audio formats for children with vision impairment across Northern Ireland.

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

Ten-year-old Elodie Bateson from County Derry in Northern Ireland was born with vision impairment called microphthalmia coloboma. This is a condition where one or both eyes is abnormally small and there are missing pieces of tissue in structures that form the eye. Elodie is a big fan of RNIB Talking Books and also enjoys braille books. She has chosen Skysteppers by Katherine Rundell from the list of titles RNIB has made accessible to celebrate World Book Day.

Elodie said: “I love reading and sometimes enjoy five books in a week! The best bit about getting RNIB Talking Books is that I can pick my favourite books to listen to all by myself. I use VoiceOver on my iPad and the Easyreader app so I can have the same books as my friends. My favourite books are fantasy, and my favourite author is Rick Riordan.”

Elodie’s mum Michelle praised RNIB’s free accessible book offer for giving children with vision impairment the opportunity to own a book in a format they can read.

Michelle said: “We look forward to RNIB’s book offer every year as we can’t buy a book for Elodie as easily as anyone else might. I think book ownership is so important so to be able to get a book for free in a format Elodie can read is like winning a prize.”

Organised by UNESCO, World Book Day is marked in more than 100 countries around the world, with 2021 being the 24th year of celebrations.

World Book Day organisers are encouraging parents, children and young people of all ages to spend at least 10 minutes a day sharing a book together and celebrate reading for pleasure, helping to promote wellbeing for everyone.

James Bartlett, RNIB Library and Newsagent Manager, said: “RNIB is delighted to support this year’s World Book Day. Reading can open up a world of possibilities and enhance the imagination, which is why it is so important for every child (and adult) to be able to enjoy books of their choice. The braille and audio versions of books that we have created ensure that blind and partially sighted children can discover these stories just like any other child and share in the excitement this World Book Day.”

To claim a free book in braille or audio (DAISY CD) format, call the RNIB helpline on 0303 123 9999 or email [email protected]. The books will be available for free until 31 March 2021.

The titles available are:

  • There’s a Wolf in Your Book by Tom Fletcher
  • What the Ladybird Heard (Playscript) by Julia Donaldson
  • Gigantosaurus: Dino-Spot by Jonny Duddle
  • Luna Loves World Book Day by Joseph Coehlo
  • Protect the Planet by Jess French
  • Football School by Alexander Bellos and Ben Lyttleton
  • Planet Omar: Operation Kind by Zanib Mian
  • The River Whale by Sita Brahmachari
  • Skysteppers by Katherine Rundell
  • Little Badman and the Radioactive Samosa by Humza Arshad and Henry White
  • Skulduggery Pleasant: Apocalypse Kings by Derek Landy
  • Killjoy by Holly Jackson
  • Ha Ha Cnec by Huw Aaron

Like all RNIB services, this invaluable resource is highly reliant on public donations and fundraising activities. Find our more about the ways you can donate to support services like RNIB’s accessible books (or any of RNIB’s vital work). You can also call the Helpline 0303 123 9999 and choose option 4 to speak with a member of our fundraising team.

Notes to editors

All media enquiries to Kirsty Campbell at [email protected] or 07702 856686. For urgent enquiries out-of-hours, please call 07968 482812.