SEAN HEGGARTY and NIAMH HAMMILL check out York’s World Book Day events.

HUNDREDS of youngsters across York, North and East Yorkshire were today taking part in the 16th annual World Book Day.

The event is designed to encourage children from nursery to secondary school to enjoy reading; and each school across the country has received World Day Resource packs, containing activities, book tokens and display designs.

Each child will receive a token which they can use against any purchase of the selected eight books, including The Chocolate Box Girls: Bittersweet, by Cathy Cassidy.

Later in the week, Christina Gabbitas will be signing copies of her new novel Felicity Fly at WH Smith, Monks Cross.

To find out more about the events, visit

As part of the book day activities, The Press asked well-known local figures and bookshop staff for their favourite reads.

City of York Council’s cabinet member for Education, Janet Looker.

Favourite Book: Middle-march by George Eliot.

Why: Middle-march is one of the few books, and it is a thick novel, that by the time I have read it from cover to cover, my main urge is to go back to the beginning and start it all over again. It incorporates such a wonderful world and all the characters in it.

Police and Crime Comm-issioner, Julia Mulligan

Favourite Book: Tess of the d’Urber-villes by Thomas Hardy.

Why: I find the role of women in the story interesting and like the story of struggle and redemption in it. I named one of my Springer Spaniels after Tess from the book.

Name: Monica Polisca, manageress of Lucius Books, from South Bank

Favourite Book: Shantaran by Gregory Roberts

Why: “It’s an amazing story, it’s written very well and it’s also a true story.”

James Hallgate, owner of Lucius Books, from Wilberfoss

Favourite Book: The Tiger Tray by BB.

Why: “It was read to me when I was eight-years-old at boarding school and it’s the most amazing story about a boy that goes on adventures on his magic tray.”

Alex Helstrip owner of Fossgate Books

Favourite Book: Bleak House by Charles Dickens.

Why: “This is my current favourite but all of Dickens’ work is great.”

Tim Scott, a volunteer at Arthritis Research UK, from Huntington

Favourite Book: The Wandering Jew, by Stefan Heym

Why: “It’s got the creation story in it as well as the apocalypse at the end. It’s really exciting all the way through.”

Tom Longstaff, shop manager at Arthritis Research UK

Favourite Book: Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel.

Why: “It’s an incredible historical novel that has great character depth. The story is also related to Henry VIII.”


• As part of World Book Day, Scarborough-born author GP Taylor visited St Peter’s School in York to talk about horror writing, sign copies of his book, and tell ghost stories to the pupils – yielding screams of terror from the more easily-scared.

Mr Taylor’s visit marked the beginning of a week of reading and a celebration of books linked to World Book Day today. The popular author is a regular visitor to Yorkshire literature events, entertaining and inspiring young writers.

Mr Taylor’s books Shadowmancer and Mariah Mundi And The Midas Box are both in the process of being adapted into big budget movies, with the latter due for release in the near future.