Book Clubs in Schools announces Alex Wheatle MBE as its patron

Book Clubs in Schools announces Alex Wheatle MBE as its patron

PRESS RELEASE                NOVEMBER 2020

Book Clubs in Schools (BCiS), announces award-winning children’s author Alex Wheatle MBE as its patron. BCiS is a charity that delivers interactive, inclusive and lively book clubs. The charity creates a pathway for young people to discover the wider world through reading for pleasure and discussion.

Our book clubs help pupils develop character, communication, social and leadership skills. These skills will help young people to do well in school and match the needs of employers, moreover the book clubs demonstrate how reading for pleasure provides an escape from everyday concerns.

Alex Wheatle is working with Book Clubs in Schools, delivering author talks and collaborating on a pilot book club project with Manchester Secondary PRU and Francis Barber, PRU in Tooting and Wandsworth. Year 9 pupils in both pupil referral units will be reading Alex’s book, Kerb-Stain Boys, which focuses on the lives of teenagers and families on the fictional South Crongton council estate.

Book Clubs in Schools uses Alex’s book, Liccle Bit in its book clubs and in the BCiS Instagram Readalong. BCiS features books in the book clubs from a variety of diverse authors which our pupils can relate to.

Alex Wheatle said: “I am proud to be named as Book Clubs in Schools’ patron. Supporting the charity’s project running book clubs in pupil referral units is a cause close to my heart because I spent some time in a similar facility myself. As Creative Writing Lecturer of Children’s Writing at Manchester Met University, it’s great that the Manchester PRU is part of the pilot. I understand that some students can find it difficult to engage with reading and think it’s vitally important to publish more diverse fiction that engages and relates to students. I know first-hand that reading can also promote empathy, compassion and understanding of others, which is why the Book Clubs in Schools’ work resonates with me”

Beth Ginsburg and Ali Palmer, the co-directors of BCiS, said: “We’re thrilled to announce Alex Wheatle as our patron. We look forward to working with Alex because he is a role model and mentor for young people and his participation will give them the confidence to engage with book clubs.”

The story of Alex Wheatle’s early life will feature in Steve McQueen’s highly acclaimed Small Axe collection. The Alex Wheatle episode will air on BBC One on Sunday, 6 December.


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For more information, please contact Lucy Walker at

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