Penguin introduces new classic books project

Following Schools Minister Nick Gibb’s call to bring more classic literature to schools, 100 titles are being offered by Penguin Classics in a bid to give children the opportunity to discover classic literature.

The 100 titles, including the likes of ‘Anna Karenina’ and ‘Twelve Years a Slave’, are taken from Penguin’s Black Classics series. The writings cover early literature to 20th century works and span from fiction to non-fiction and poetry to prose. All the titles are written by authors who died before 1946 and are out of copyright terms.

Penguin will offer secondary school classroom sets of 30 copies of each of the 100 titles for a package price of £3,000, allowing pupils to read along with their teacher and classmates.

Gibb said he wanted to encourage debate and discussion regarding what classic literature should be read in the classroom.

He said: “It is important that all pupils in secondary school are taught to read and enjoy challenging books from amongst the world’s greatest literature. The first few years of secondary education is an opportunity for pupils to be introduced to such literature free from the constraints and analysis of public exams.

“I welcome this initiative from Penguin and look forward to seeing the list grow so schools can discover great books together. But this is not the end of the debate and I want this to be a springboard for discussion on the impact a great story can have on us all.”

Simon Winder, Publishing Director of Penguin Classics, said: “For 70 years, Penguin Classics have been introducing the world’s most extraordinary books to millions of readers. The Classics in Schools initiative is a fantastic opportunity to continue with what has always been our mission - to get remarkable, good-value books into the hands of as many people as possible.

“We have chosen 100 books from the Penguin Classics series to continue our tradition of engaging the next generation - to surprise, provoke and delight young readers. The opportunity to work with schools to make these 100 books available to their students is a unique one and we are thrilled to be involved.”

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