This summer discover our very own BookBenches, part of an exciting Manchester city-wide trail for children and their families

If you head down to the Great Hall at the Royal Exchange Theatre this summer, you can find a very special surprise.

We are playing host to two of 58 colourful BookBenches dotted around Manchester. All of the benches have been designed by local children and community groups, who have been inspired by books and reading. Designs are based on favourite children’s books including Mr Men and Roald Dahl.

Our benches has been created by artists from HMP Manchester, where prison learners shared their favourite stories with their community by writing reviews to encourage others to explore the titles.

Families can follow the BookBench trail across the city by downloading the trail map from the National Literacy Trust website or by popping into any of the participating venues.

There’s still time to catch the related events, including storytelling at People’s History Museum and illustration workshops in Alexandra Park Café. There’s also lots of free accompanying activity sheets linked to favourite children’s stories and authors available online.

The BookBench Trail runs until 10 September 2017.

Read Manchester is a campaign from Manchester City Council and the National Literary Trust to promote reading and boost literacy levels throughout the city.

The campaign calls on schools, community groups, libraries, businesses and residents to get involved and encourage reading in all Manchester communities, to help improve the life chances of children and young people in the city.