Monday 30th July 2012
John Boyne, the author of the international bestseller The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas, is backing the launch of a mobile app which helps children around the world receive education.
Boyne and fellow authors from Random House Children's Publishers Dee Shulman and Louise Yates are joining global charity Plan UK to promote the app called Education For Girls.
The app draws upon the nostalgia of popular childhood books, asking users how many on the 50-strong list they have read and which is their favourite. The users are then asked if they would like to show their support for Plan UK by making a £3 donation to buy a virtual book. It costs the charity £3 to send one girl to school for a week in Sierra Leone.
Award-winning author Boyne said: "Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson was one of my favourites. I always loved books that featured young characters left to fend for themselves in the world. Jim Hawkins is a terrific hero, adventurous, unafraid, curious about the world.
"The novel is a great adventure story and one of the best coming-of-age novels ever written; the Jim who has outwitted the pirates at the end of the novel is a very different Jim to the shy boy of the opening pages."
Philosopher and author AC Grayling, a supporter of Plan's work, said: "The Swiss Family Robinson was my favourite novel. I was fascinated by the ingenuity and inventiveness of the family in coping with life on their desert island. It seemed to me a very romantic adventure."
Globally, one in three girls are denied a secondary education with the vast majority of those residing in the poorest parts of the developing world.
Marie Staunton, chief executive of Plan UK, said: "We are facing a global crisis in learning with 75 million girls around the world out of school. Shockingly, 80 million young women between the ages of 15 and 24 lack basic reading and writing skills.
"If we want to end the cycle of poverty, one of the single best investments we can make is supporting girls to stay in school. By donating a virtual book through Plan's new app, users can help give girls the education they need to move themselves from a life of poverty, to a future with opportunity."
To download the app visit http://www.facebook.com/planuk.