Footballer Marcus Rashford has chosen Tom Percival’s Silas And The Marvellous Misfits to be the second children’s book for his book club.
The book club was launched in June to help children from disadvantaged backgrounds and encourage them to love reading.
The first round book, A Dinosaur Ate My Sister by Pooja Puri, reached more than 50,000 children in the UK and received positive feedback from schools and children.
Percival’s children’s book is an illustrated adventure tale that aims to show youngsters everywhere how to love their differences and discover the joy of being themselves.
It is also the third in the Dream Defenders series, which encourages children to learn about emotional intelligence.
Rashford said: “Encouraging children to find joy in, and celebrate, their differences is so powerful in today’s society.
“Tom inspires this mindset in the most fun, engaging, action-packed way.
“I would have loved to read this book as a child.”
Percival added: “I’m so proud that Silas And The Marvellous Misfits has been chosen to be part of Marcus Rashford’s Book Club.
“Marcus is an absolute powerhouse of positivity and this latest campaign is vitally important.
“Books and reading have played a massive part in my own life, providing me with a never-ending source of comfort, escapism, fun, excitement and relief when times were challenging and even providing me with my career now.
“I owe pretty much everything to books and it’s fantastic that the Marcus Rashford Book Club is making reading more accessible, which I hope will bring a love of reading to thousands of young people up and down the country, and I’m incredibly proud to be a part of it.”
The aim of the club is to work closely with schools to get books into the hands of children from disadvantaged backgrounds to encourage reading for pleasure among youngsters who do not have access to books at home.
Macmillan Children’s Books (MCB) will donate 50,000 free books in the autumn through children’s food charity Magic Breakfast, to reach children in more than 850 primary schools across England and Scotland.
A survey by the National Literacy Trust in 2019 showed that 383,775 children do not own a single book.
The England and Manchester United striker has previously campaigned to ensure children eligible for free school meals were still given food during the holidays amid the pandemic.
Rashford published in his own illustrated non-fiction children’s book You Are A Champion: Unlock Your Potential, Find Your Voice And Be The Best You Can Be, alongside journalist Carl Anka in May.
The book, which is aimed at children over the age of 10, received a surge of donations, including from MCB, after the England footballer received racist backlash due to missing a penalty in the Euro 2020 final against Italy.