17 October 2023

Hook into Books™ celebrates another great year of promoting the joys of reading and storytelling!

Image: Collage of three photos: a child reading, a suitcase filled with books, and Resident Artist Natasha Sumner holding her book 'What’s Behind the Rock?'.

Hook into Books™ is a fun campaign led by the Learning Without Barriers team that promotes the fun of reading and storytelling. Created for children and young people in out-of-home care, the campaign's purpose was founded on the idea that engaging children of any age with reading is one of the most powerful things we can do for them.

The Hook into Books™ 2023 campaign has drawn to a close - let us share some of the fun with you!

Launch webinar

To kick off the launch of this year’s campaign, we held an online celebration featuring some of our wonderful local authors and supporters, Dimity Powell, Michael Gerard Bauer, Michelle Worthington, and Judy Russell from the Australian Children’s Book Council (QLD branch). Together, we discussed the importance of reading for children in out-of-home care and why campaigns like ours can help improve education and learning outcomes for young people in care.

Watch the video recording here.


Leading by example, many readers, far and wide, were ‘caught’ getting hooked into books with our #CatchAReader activity! This created excitement around literacy, showing young people that reading is fun and can be done anywhere, by anyone, at any time.

The Life Without Barriers community hooked into books in many different ways this year. Check out the images below to see them caught in the act of reading!

Image: Collage of children reading books.

Reading adventure challenge

Many children and young people have been on a reading adventure, taking on our challenge to experience reading and stories in lots of fun ways, and were rewarded with a book prize!

We are excited to continue the reading adventure challenge beyond Hook into Books™ to encourage reading all year round!

Image: A person dressed up as Elsa from Frozen reads a book to a group of children.

Book backpacks and travelling books suitcases

The travelling book suitcases and backpacks are another way we supported our community by bringing more books into their homes. These suitcases and backpacks are stocked to the brim with a wide range of literacy resources, including YA novels, picture books, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander stories, fiction and non-fiction books, comics, magazines, graphic novels, support guides, and more!

Image: Flatlay of children's books.

This year, we received requests for over 30 book suitcases and over 500 book backpacks for children and young people across Australia. Many suitcases and backpacks have arrived at their new homes, with more on their way.

Image: Map of Australia with blue (Book backpacks) and red pins (Travelling book suitcases), representing the distribution locations of all book backpacks and book suitcases.

“Thank you, Life Without Barriers, for the wonderful selection of books for the children. We are so thankful, and tonight, they will get to enjoy them and add to the little library they have begun. A love of reading opens the world to inquiring young minds,” shared Kathleen Cashin, Life Without Barriers foster carer.

“I took the backpacks out yesterday, and the kids were over the moon. The kids were reading to each other and the baby,” said Tanisha Nair, Child, Youth and Family Practitioner.

Image: Collage of six photos showing children with the Travelling Suitcases and Backpacks.

“Thank you all so much for the books!! I really wanted to read them as soon as I opened the bag!” shared Sarah*, a young person we support.

Another young person supported by Life Without Barriers shared her excitement about receiving a backpack.

“I really appreciate the epic, fantastic things you sent me. I am sooooo excited to read them all! And thanks for the bag and the pencils!” said Carly*.

Image: Collage of two photos, one shows a suitcase filled with books, the other is of a young girl reading a book.

Indigenous Literacy Day

We celebrated Indigenous Literacy Day with an amazing showcase of our own local story, language, and culture. Thank you to Resident Artist Natasha Sumner, a proud Ngarrindjeri woman from the Lower Lakes and Coorong area of South Australia. Natasha is the author and illustrator of the beautiful picture book, written in Ngarrindjeri language, What’s Behind the Rock?

To celebrate Indigenous Literacy Day, Natasha's brother Jordan acknowledged language and culture with a beautiful narration of What’s Behind the Rock?

Thank you to our wonderful supporters and sponsors!

Thank you to all our supporters and partners for spreading the joy of reading and storytelling in 2023. Teamwork really does make the dream work, and thanks to your support and enthusiasm, we have helped so many children and young people Hook into Books™!

Image: A large group of people stand together, holding books over their faces.

Learning Without Barriers

Children and young people are supported to build bright futures through education and learning “Everyday Everyway”

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