Calendar for Planning Reading Events

There are now very many literature and literacy-themed events throughout the year.  It’s hard to celebrate all of them, but for some of them you can plan activities, read books and generate discussion, others you can mark by just creating a well-placed display.

These are just some.  A full calendar is provided by the National Literacy Trust, although you need to sign up to membership to access it.  Libraries connected provide information about reading events for all ages in the Universal Reading Offer


Holocaust Memorial Day – a sober start to the year remembering those who have lost their lives in the Holocaust and other genocides


LGBT+ History Month – ask your schools library service to recommend age-appropriate LGBT resources

National Storytelling Week – celebration of oral storytelling – get children to tell stories as well as invite storytellers

Safer Internet Day– using the internet wisely for children

Harry Potter Book Night – event kits are available from publisher Bloomsbury


International Women’s Day– use this day to celebrate the power of girls!

Shakespeare Week – register for free resources

World Book Day – on the first Thursday of March, this is now one of the major days on the reading calendar!  Dress up, spend £1 book tokens, the website has many many ideas.

World Poetry Day – 21 March, and was first declared by UNESCO in 1999. Its purpose is to promote the reading, writing, publishing and teaching of poetry throughout the world.


International Children’s Book Day – co-ordinated by IBBY (International Board on Books for Young People), and held on or around 2nd April  to commemorate the birth of Hans Christian Anderson


National Share-a-Story Month– organised by the Federation of Children’s Book Groups to celebrate story telling and story sharing.


GRT Month – Gypsy, Romany and Traveller History Month

Independent Bookshop Week  – celebrate with your local bookshop and find out what events they are planning

Empathy Day  – launched in 2017,  use books to get children to step into someone else’s shoes and develop empathy and understanding

Refugee Week – a celebration of the contribution of refugees to the UK


Summer Reading Challenge – send pupils off for the summer to take part in this key reading event of the year and maintain their reading over the school summer holidays.


Roald Dahl Story Day – 13th September was Roald Dahl’s birthday, so use this as an excuse to celebrate all things Dahl-ish!

International Literacy Day – Bring the world to the school on this day (8 September), that looks at progress in eradicating illiteracy around the world   Links with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals

European Day of Languages – 26th September – an opportunity to celebrate all the languages spoken in your school and beyond

International Translation Day – 30 September (the feast of St Jerome, the patron saint of translators).  Find out what translated books you have in your library!


Black History Month (UK) – not just for October, but use this month to celebrate Black achievement and promote books by Black writers

National Poetry Day – an annual mass celebration on the first Thursday of October that encourages all to enjoy, discover and share poetry

Dyslexia Awareness Week – in first week of October

World Mental Health Day – an opportunity to explore the power of reading for mental health.   See also the children’s section of the Reading Agency’s “Reading Well” programme


Anti-Bullying Week – in third week in November, a week to raise awareness of bullying and highlight ways of preventing and responding to it.

National Non-Fiction November – the Federation of Children’s Book Groups’ annual celebration of all things factual – finally a chance to look at some information books.  See also Children’s Information Book Award and the Royal Society Young People’s Book Prize


UK Disability History Month – starts in November and runs to the end of the Autumn term, a time to advocate equality for disabled people.


Book Display

Click below for blank template:

pdf versionpdf excel spreadsheet


Month National Events Theme Display Visits – authors, illustrators, storytellers, poets Activity
January Winter Cold and snowy weather, picture books showing winter Write reading diary for a month. Imagine you are in a very cold place
February Valentine’s Day Love stories Design a Valentine’s Day

March World Book Day

Posters, copies of books available Author to celebrate world book day Game of consequences

Greenaway shortlist Book display of previous winners Design a book cover for a previous winner
May Myths & Legends Myths & legends Design a bookmark as guide to library
June Greenaway Winner Illustration in children’s books: winner of the award this year. The current winner’s best images – books from the library Illustrator to discuss greenaway shortlisted books Illustrate in the style of…(the winner or a favourite illustrator)
July Summer Reading Challenge Summer holidays Titles from theme of reading game Wordsearch
August Sports or Olympics Sport stories Make a board game to do with sport
September *Roahl Dahl Day


Books by and about Dahl. Design a book cover for a Dahl children’s book.
October *Children’s Book Week and Family Learning Festival

Black History Month
National Poetry Day

*Titles from theme of book week

*Promotion of Black authors, illustrators and publishers
Author / storyteller / poet *Reading tree with leaves of books read

*Displays. Children’s writing. Promotional bookmark. Link with Public Library events
November Ghosts and horror Books with scary covers, horror stories Design a poster to a scary book and the library
December Christmas and winter festivals Christmas / Diwali / Hannukkah and other books & decorations Design a card