‘Reading Well for Children’ at Bedford Borough’s Libraries Image By Africa Studio AdobeStock_118516528

Book list covers topics including grief, anxiety, bullying and staying safe online

Reading Well for Children’ has been launched by The Reading Agency and Libraries Connected to support children’s mental health and wellbeing.

Now available at Bedford Central, Kempston and Putnoe libraries, the booklist is aimed at children aged 7-11, and has titles suitable for a range of reading levels. 

The booklist was developed by national experts together with children and families who have experienced some of these issues. It has been endorsed by leading health bodies, including the Royal Society for Public Health.

It contains 33 books covering topics including grief, anxiety, bullying and staying safe online. The list also explores living well with conditions such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), dyslexia, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and physical disabilities.

Books on the list can be reserved free of charge with a child’s library card. Karen Napier, ceo of The Reading Agency, said:

“At The Reading Agency, we believe in the proven power of reading to tackle life’s big challenges, including the challenge we all face of managing our mental health and wellbeing.

“This new and important area of our work will support all children, including the 1 in 8 who have been diagnosed with a mental health condition, with using quality-assured information, advice and stories all approved by experts.”

This new booklist joins other support already available in Bedford Borough for children and young people experiencing emotional, behavioural, physical or mental health difficulties, including Kooth and the Local Offer.

Kooth.com is a free online counselling service for young people aged 11-19 offering support, one-to-one chat sessions with trained counsellors, and forums covering a range of topics.

The Bedford Borough Local Offer is a source of information for families and carers seeking information and advice about services for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities.

Cllr Doug McMurdo, portfolio for Leisure and Culture, said:

“This Reading Well booklist provides children with a great resource of knowledge and support to look after their mental health and wellbeing.

“Available for free in our libraries, it joins other local support services helping children and young people in the Borough.”