New ambassadors, initiatives for 2019 Australian Reading Hour announced
Australian Reading Hour has announced its ambassadors and several new initiatives for this year’s event, which will be held on 19 September.
Mick Elliott, Anthony Field, Karen Manbulloo, Sally Rippin and Matt Stanton are this year’s children’s ambassadors, and Rachael Johns and Benjamin Law have signed on as adult ambassadors.
For the first time, each of the children’s ambassadors will contribute a book to be published on 10 September. Aimed at children from 0–9 years of age, the books will sell for $2.99 at bookshops and libraries in the lead-up to Australian Reading Hour. Hachette Australia will sell the titles into bookshops from 13 May with a mid-August cut-off date for final orders.
The campaign is also launching the Australian Reading Challenge, an online, interactive platform for readers to track their progress towards their goal and complete weekly challenges. Registrations open on 10 April ahead of the Challenge launch on 28 April.
This year’s theme is ‘take the time to escape with a book’, and participants will be encouraged to read for an hour any time during the day or attend reading events to celebrate the benefits of reading.
Hachette Australia CEO and Australian Reading Hour committee chair Louise Sherwin-Stark thanked Australian publishers and authors for ‘embracing the initiative and producing an amazing range of children’s books to entice even the most reluctant readers to dive into a book’.
The 2019 campaign will be officially launched with the Parliamentary Friends of Australian Books and Writers at Parliament House in Canberra on 17 September.
This is the third year of the Australian Reading Hour campaign, which launched in 2017 as a collaboration between the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA), the Australian Society of Authors (ASA), the Australian Publishers Association (APA), the Australian Booksellers Association (ABA) and the Copyright Agency.
Booksellers, librarians and teachers interested in organising a reading event are encouraged to register at the Australian Reading Hour website, where additional resources can be downloaded.