Manchester United and England forward Marcus Rashford is launching a book club in 2021 to give more children from underprivileged backgrounds the opportunity to read.
It comes after the soccer star’s successful campaign twice forced the UK government to change its policies to help feed children from low-income families.
Now, Rashford is working with Macmillan Children’s Book (MCB) to help children enjoy “the escapism of reading.”
In a statement, he said: “I only started reading at 17, and it completely changed my outlook and mentality.”
“I just wish I was offered the opportunity to really engage in reading more as a child, but books were never a thing we could budget for as a family when we needed to put food on the table,” he added.
Additionally, Macmillan stated that the Rashford book club would recommend titles that would champion the works of young and emerging writers and illustrations of all backgrounds.
The Manchester United star also said: “There were times as a child the escapism of reading could have really helped me. I want this escapism for all children. Not just those that can afford it. We know there are approximately 400,000 children across the UK today that have never owned a book, children that are in vulnerable environments.”
“That has to change. My books are, and will be, for every child, even if I have to deliver them myself. We will reach them,” he added.
This deal with Macmillan will allow the soccer player to publish a variety of fiction and non-fiction books.
The first title will be: YOU ARE A CHAMPION: Unlock Your Potential, Find Your Voice And Be The BEST You Can Be. This book will be co-created with Carl Anka, a journalist for The Athletic, and performance psychologist Katie Warriner. It will be published in May 2021 and aimed at children between the ages of 11 and 16.
Each chapter will begin by telling a story of Marcus Rashford’s own life. Additionally, according to MBC, it will cover topics like adversity, positive mindset, the value of education, understanding culture, and female role models.
“Readers will find out how positive thinking can change their life, build mental resilience, learn how to navigate adversity, and discover the unstoppable power of their own voice,” Macmillan said.
According to the publisher, the book club will also welcome two fiction titles for readers aged seven and up later in 2022.