Welcome to World of Stories

At Puffin, we believe that stories can inspire a child to feel that they can be, and do, anything.

However, not every child in the UK has access to books and stories. Libraries are suffering from a chronic lack of investment – 1 in 4 of schools serving the UK’s most disadvantaged communities do not have a school library. We created World of Stories in partnership with our friends at the UK’s leading literacy charity, the National Literacy Trust, in 2018.

World of Stories aims to address some of the key challenges facing reading for pleasure in schools where budget constraints often mean investing in school libraries and librarians and buying new books is not an option. Research shows that reading for pleasure improves children’s ability to read, write and progress at school, as well as having a positive impact on their mental wellbeing and empathy.

So far, we’ve worked with 730 primary schools, supporting them to transform their libraries and reading spaces into hubs of creativity and imagination.


Love of reading is one of the reasons I went into teaching . . . this has motivated me and reminded me of what's important.

Participating teacher

What does World of Stories offer?

Each participating school receives for free:

  • 8

    400 brand new books from Puffin

    From much-loved classics like Roald Dahl and Diary of a Wimpy Kid, to new voices.

  • PEN00958_WOS_Bullets8

    100 books from our partner publishers

    Including from Barrington Stoke, Lantana, and Knights Of.

  • PEN00958_WOS_Bullets1

    Bespoke training

    For participants, delivered by the National Literacy Trust.

  • PEN00958_WOS_Bullets2

    Audiobook downloads

    Introducing schools to the power of audiobooks to reach children who struggle to read.

  • PEN00958_WOS_Bullet5

    Colourful resources

    To bring reading spaces in schools to life, including posters, bookmarks and bunting.

Which schools are eligible?

To make sure we’re targeting our support where it’s needed most, all schools taking part have a higher than average percentage of pupils receiving free school meals - which we use as a proxy for disadvantage.

In 2023/24, we are working in the following target areas:

  • Blackpool
  • Black Country
  • Swindon
  • Essex (Basildon, Braintree, Harlow, Thurrock, Southend and Canvey Island)
  • Lancashire (Preston, Fleetwood, Skelmersdale)
  • County Durham (Bishop Auckland, Newton Aycliffe, Stanley, Crook, Chester-Le-Street)
  • Bradford
  • Portsmouth and Isle of Wight

If your school isn't in one of our target areas, you can still express your interest and we will be in touch if we can support you in the future.

Impact since 2018

teachers participated
books donated
pupils reached
Of participating teachers felt better equipped and informed to develop a reading community, and to engage with pupils to inspire reading for pleasure
Of participating teachers would recommend World of Stories to other schools

Who is involved in the programme?

In 2021, we welcomed seven independent publishers to the World of Stories family - Lantana, b small, Barrington Stoke, The Emma Press, Scallywag Press, Knights Of and Sweet Cherry.

Participating schools receive a total of 100 books from the seven publishers, which include fiction, non-fiction, picture books, biographies, graphic novels and more.


World of Stories has made more of a difference than I could ever have imagined. Our Library Coordinator is constantly coming to me with new ideas and has already put many of them in place. There is a long queue outside the library most lunchtimes, with children waiting to borrow or swap their choice of the fantastic books we have been given, and the student librarians are enjoying running the system.

I am so grateful that we were chosen to take part.

Teacher at participating Essex school

Introducing our Ambassadors!

The Primary School Library Alliance was formed in November 2021 to address the lack of investment in UK primary school libraries. Début author Nazneen Ahmed Pathak, author and illustrator Jen Carney, plus duo Greg James and Chris Smith are our ambassadors for the 2023-24 academic year.

“The alliance is doing urgent, essential work to begin to change that, by working with hundreds of brilliant schools across the country, bringing story magic to children, book by book. We are so proud that our Puffin authors Nazneen, Jen, Greg and Chris will be lending their support and influential voices to such a vital endeavour, and I wish them all, and the kids, the best – and fun – this year."

Penguin Random House Children’s managing director Francesca Dow

Author Ambassador_Group_V2

Latest news from World of Stories

Puffin Virtual Visits

Real-life authors and illustrators will be streaming LIVE straight into classrooms around the country each term, to inspire a lifelong love of reading for your pupils

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Queen Camilla and authors with staff and pupils from school

Her Majesty Queen Camilla launches National Literacy Trust Coronation Library initiative

Pupils and teachers at Shirehampton Primary School in Bristol welcomed Her Majesty Queen Camilla today, Thursday 18 May 2023.

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World of Stories 2023/24: applications now open!

World of Stories 2023/24: applications now open!

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Now the library is creative and full of adventure!

Pupil at participating London school