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Reading for pleasure is a globally recognised indicator in a huge range of social issues from poverty to mental health, yet in England alone, 36% of people don’t regularly read (DCMS, 2015).

World Book Night brings people from all backgrounds together for one reason – to inspire others to read more.


This year, our World Book Night title is "My Name is Why" by Lemn Sissay. We have free copies to give away at both of our library sites, and we are also linking in this year with our own Book Club

So, please visit one of our libraries to get your free copy, and if you'd like to discuss the book, you can drop in to our book club meeting! All welcome!

At the age of seventeen, after a childhood in an adopted family followed by six years in care homes, Norman Greenwood was given his birth certificate. He learned that his real name was not Norman. It was Lemn Sissay. He was British and Ethiopian. And he learned that his mother had been pleading for his safe return to her since his birth.

Here Sissay recounts his life story. It is a story of neglect and determination. Misfortune and hope. Cruelty and beauty. Sissay reflects on adoption, self-expression and Britishness, and in doing so explores the institutional care system, race, family and the meaning of home. Written with all the lyricism and power you would expect from one of the nation's best-loved voices, this moving, frank and timely memoir is the result of a life spent asking questions, and a celebration of the redemptive power of creativity.


“I have never read a memoir like it. A blistering account of a young life in the hands of neglectful authorities. It’s a quest for understanding, for home, for answers. Grips like a thriller. Astounding.”

Matt Haig

“The great triumph of this work comes from its author’s determination to rail against what her rightly diagnoses as this institutionally endorsed disremembering of black and marginalised experience. It is a searing and unforgettable re-creation of the most brutal of beginnings.”

- Michael Donkor (The Guardian 2019)


Lemn Sissay OBE is an award winning poet, playwrite, broadcaster and speaker. BAFTA nominated International prize winning writer, he was awarded an MBE for services to literature in 2010, was the official poet of the 2012 Olympics and more recently recieved an OBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours of 2021.

To find out more about the author, visit his official website:

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