Each December in ALCS News, we highlight a Christmas good cause with a special resonance for writers. This year, may we suggest a £10 donation to BookTrust’s Letterbox Club 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 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.

Throughout the year through its award-winning programme, The Letterbox Club, BookTrust sends out book parcels during the year to children in care, reaching 11,000 children across the UK each year. For some children, it could be first time they have ever received a parcel through the post, and it could also be very first book they’ve ever owned.

Now BookTrust wants to surprise as many children as possible through its Christmas appeal. It has handpicked six hardback books to send to children in care aged 3-13 years, including Three Little Owls by Quentin Blake, Creaturepedia by Adrienne Barman; and National Geographic’s Weird But True. One of these books is sent according to the age of the child, and in addition, every child will also receive a specially-created festive poster and postcard by illustrator Adam Stower.

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.