Children’s Book Networks is committed to inspiring reading in pre-teens from under-resourced areas by providing them the opportunity to engage with creative and imaginative stories. We do this through the aid of our CBN toolboxes: curated collections of excellent books and stories that are used in our immersive workshops with the children, and adapted for use in their homes.


We work with children aged 10-12 in under-resourced areas. In theory, they can read. In practice, they don’t. They know the ABC of this magical process but have usually not grasped the role of imagination – whether in story or non-fiction.


We have carefully curated our CBN toolboxes to include only the best of South African and international books for children to read in our workshops, book clubs and at home.


A global connection of people who care about children reading, and what that means for those children’s futures. From the funders to the facilitators, the network is built out of passion.

Book Choices

By Lupita Nyong’o

What's the Problem?

In South Africa 8 out of 10 children between the age of 9-10 (Grade 4) can’t read for meaning. They understand their ABCs but are unable to locate explicit information and make inferences about events and reasons for actions from the content. Reading for meaning is crucial for IQ, EQ and learning potentiaml oving into further education – children unable to overcome this hurdle are unlikely to grasp other subjects and be able to engage in the education they have access to. These children also lose the opportunity that reading allows in activating imagination, developing agency in visioning their futures, and providing respite from their challenging lives and environments.

What's the Solution?

We provide the opportunity for pre-teens in under-resourced areas to engage with books and stories that activate their imaginations, and in doing so inspire them to read. We do this through our CBN toolboxes; curated collections of excellent
books and stories that have been adapted for use in our immersive workshops, book clubs and homes.

Improving reading may be a cost effective way of improving  educational outcomes, but for us it is also a way of ensuring the child’s emotional, cultural and imaginative development and in doing so, adding value to the child’s experience of everyday life.

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