50 years of Leading the Way in Bringing Children and Books Together


 “In their own quiet and single-minded way, the Federation of Childrens Book Groups has done more for literacy, for literature and for reading than almost anyone (Anthony Horowitz, Past Winner, Children’s Book Award)

Throughout 2018 the Federation of Children’s Book Groups will be celebrating 50 innovative years of enthusing hundreds of thousands of children with the power of story and the joy of reading.  By always putting children’s voices and a community focus at its heart, the Federation of Children’s Book Groups has led the way, by working with families, schools and libraries across the UK and beyond to share a passion for books and reading in all its forms.

Over its 50 years, the Federation has created three major national ground-breaking initiatives focused on story, reading and empowering the participation of children in all that we do: National Share-A-Story Month (1977), the Children’s Book Award (1980) and National Non-Fiction November (2010).

It has also been heavily involved with other national events/organisations including the creation of Seven Stories (2005), the development of the Edinburgh Festival’s Children’s Literature programme (1990), creating a forerunner of the Summer Reading Challenge (an archive is now held at Seven Stories) and delivering Story Sacks to hospitals across the UK.

It has worked with major international children’s literacy charities, particularly Books for Zambia (1979) and StoryAid International (1990), which became Book Aid International; and also locally through the annual Federation Gift and book donations via the Children’s Book Award. 

Plans for 2018

In addition to the local parties, exhibitions and special events planned by the local children’s groups, our celebratory programme includes:

  • Fifty Favourite Books from the Last Fifty Years booklist: a new list of books chosen by members of the Federation. This is now available on our website and print copies can be requested from info@fcbg.org.uk
  • 50 Years of the Federation of Children’s Book Groups: a book celebrating the history of the Federation and activities since its foundation will be launched at a special event in the Spring of 2018.
  • A Golden Treasury: Hidden Gems, Bright Futures: a special celebratory conference to be held at Queenswood School, Herts from 13-15th April, featuring former Children’s Laureates Michael Morpurgo and Jacqueline Wilson
  • Golden National Share a Story Month: Celebrating a World of Stories: during May we will be celebrating stories, poetry, myths and legends from around the world, exploring other cultures as well as our own British stories
  • Golden Children’s Book Award: the shortlist for the only national book award voted for entirely by children will be revealed in February and the winners announced in June at the award ceremony in London
  • Golden National Non-Fiction November: Food and Festivals Around the World: during the month we will be highlighting the pleasure of reading non-fiction and the fantastic titles currently available for children and young people, including books about celebratory events in the UK and the wider world
  • Golden Anniversary Event for Children in Birmingham: an exciting programme of author events for a young audience will take place on 3rd November 2018, featuring former Children’s Laureates Julia Donaldson and Jacqueline Wilson and the finale of this year’s Jean Russell Storytelling Project. 

Throughout the year we will also be publishing a special series of blogs on the Federation’s website designed to explore the history of the organisation and celebrate the ongoing work of the children’s book groups. Follow updates, special competitions and celebrations on Twitter and Facebook.


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