Each December in ALCS News, we highlight a Christmas good cause with a special resonance for writers. This year, if you are able, may we suggest a £10 donation to BookTrust’s Christmas Appeal?

BookTrust, the UK’s largest children’s reading charity, is asking people to donate to its festive appeal and light up the Christmas of a child who is vulnerable or in care. Christmas can be an especially tough time for such children, and a surprise book gift is a wonderful way to show them that someone is thinking of them and make their Christmas a little easier, as aspiring author Emma Norry who grew up in care explains:

When you’re a child in care, you have very little control over what happens to you and the choices you make are often limited. To be able to choose which fictional worlds to explore, enter and escape to is invaluable.

Books are a way out of and into what you may be experiencing. Books are a chance to make new friends, access new worlds and to realise that you might not be alone after all. Books took me places I needed to go. No matter who came and went, books were always there showing me how similar we all were inside.

For me, I knew that between the pages of a book was a place I was always welcome. Books didn’t mind who I was or wasn’t, where I had come from or where I might end up. Books remained the same even though all around me was constantly changing. I clung to my books like a life raft. Books were my constant home and I carried words inside me, as armour and protection and comfort.

Your donation could help brighten Christmas for 14,250 children who are vulnerable or in care, which is 1,800 more children than last year. And for the first time, some parcels will be given out through community foodbanks to help some families who have been adversely affected by lockdown and who are facing a difficult Christmas.

BookTrust has handpicked six hardback books to send to children aged 3-13 years, including The Gruffalo Sound Book, Elmer: A Classic Collection, Through the Animal Kingdom, Our Planet, Wild Lives and Guinness World Records 2021. One of these books is sent according to the age of the child, and in addition each child will also receive a special letter, festive poster and bookmark by David McKee.

To donate, please go to the BookTrust website,, and help make a child’s Christmas.

You can find out more information about BookTrust’s The Letterbox Club here.