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Young City Reads 2016 - Title Revealed!

Danny Wallace's Hamish and the Worldstoppers has been chosen for the 2016 Young City Reads, which is part of the 50th Brighton Festival

Collected Works CIC and Brighton Festival  - which celebrates its 50th edition in 2016 - are delighted to reveal that Danny Wallace's Hamish and the Worldstoppers has been chosen as the 2016 'Big Read' for children across Brighton & Hove. The concept is simple: one book, by one author is selected for the whole community to read, explore, discuss and creatively engage with.

‘Everyone knows that Brighton has the funniest, coolest, stinkiest children in Britain - and when I heard that they’d all be reading my book, my feet fell off in delight. Brighton Young City Reads is a brilliant thing, and for Hamish to be at the centre of it this year is a real honour. Jamie and I can’t wait to see what the kids think. Now excuse me while I put my feet back on.’ 

Danny Wallace, Young City Reads author, Jan 2016


  • 3rd March 2016 (World Book Day) Young City Reads launches at Jubilee Library 
  • 19th May 2016 (Brighton Festival Event) Special Young City Reads event at Brighton Festival featuring the author and illustrator LIVE.

Sarah Hutchings, Artistic Director, Collected Works CIC, commented, ‘Young City Reads is all about the pure pleasure of reading. It inspires children to take time over the reading a book and then encourages them to discuss it with friends, teachers, parents or grandparents. It’s a celebration of words and pictures. And did I mention it’s also great fun!’

Andrew Comben, Chief Executive of Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival said: ‘Young City Reads is always a highlight of Brighton Festival; young booklovers, en masse, discussing and sharing one story before meeting the author themselves… it’s a unique event and something we’re very proud of. One theme we’ll be exploring at our 50th Brighton Festival is the future of art - who are the new voices, what will the next generation make and what role might they play? That Danny Wallace’s adventurous tale sees the fate of the world in the hands of one plucky youngster is, to me, a very fitting and apt choice for the whole city to enjoy.’

ABOUT the book
What would YOU do... if the whole world just stopped? Yes the WHOLE WORLD. Birds in the air. Planes in the sky. And every single person on the planet - except you. Because that's what keeps happening to ten-year-old Hamish Ellerby. And it's being caused by The WorldStoppers and their terrifying friends The Terribles! They have a PLAN. They want to take our world for their own . . . Oh, and they hate children. Especially if you're a child who knows about them. Hang on - You know now, don't you? Oh dear. Can Hamish save us from the WorldStoppers? Only time will tell…..


  • Primary school teachers and classes are being invited to register online (for FREE) and agree to read Hamish and the Worldstoppers together in class between (3 March – 19 May 2016). The Class Teacher or Head Teacher can complete a sign-up form on the City Reads website at:
  • Throughout the project, participating classes will receive FREE weekly e-bulletins which will include bite-size Hamish quizzes, puzzles and fun activities to complete.
  • This is a great way for classes to get excited about a book and to experience the benefits of shared reading and the fun it brings.

For more details contact
Sarah Hutchings, Artistic Director – Collected Works CIC
07985 159618
Young City Reads website –
Brighton Festival website –

About the People Behind this Project

ABOUT Danny Wallace
Danny Wallace is an award-winning writer and presenter who writes a regular column for Shortlist Magazine which reaches 1.3 million readers weekly. His first novel for adult readers, Charlotte Street, was an international bestseller andfollowed in the wake of his non-fiction bestsellers which include Awkward Situations for Men, Join Me and Yes Man – which went on to become a Hollywood movie starring Jim Carrey. The Hamish series is his first foray into children’s writing. 

ABOUT Jamie Littler
Jamie Littler graduated from the Arts Institute at Bournemouth in 2008 and won a High Commendation in the Macmillan Children’s Book Award. He is the creator, writer and illustrator of the comic series Cogg and Sprokit which was serialized in the Phoenix Comic. He’s illustrated many children’s books including new editions of Enid Blyton’s The Famous Five. 

ABOUT Simon & Schuster
Simon & Schuster UK is one of the leading general book publishing companies in the UK. The group is based in London with sister companies in Australia, India, Canada and the United States. Home to bestselling authors, Pulitzer Prize winners, Richard & Judy book club winners; Simon & Schuster UK prides itself on being a commercially driven publishing house of quality writing.

‘We’re so pleased that HAMISH AND THE WORLDSTOPPERS has been chosen as the 2016 Brighton Young City Reads title. Danny Wallace’s hilarious writing and Jamie Littler’s brilliant illustrators are a perfect combination, creating a world full of terrible monsters and heroic ten-year-olds that just leaps off the page! I’m sure the children of Brighton (and a few grown-ups too!) are going to have lots of fun getting to know Hamish Ellerby and his friends and we’re delighted to be involved with such a wonderful scheme.’  
Jane Griffiths, Senior Fiction Commissioning Editor

ABOUT Young City Reads 
Brainchild of Brighton based award winning literary organisation Collected Works CIC, Young City Reads (Brighton & Hove’s ‘big read’ for children) was established in 2013, when broadcaster and former children’s laureate Michael Rosen (that year’s Guest Director of Brighton Festival) agreed to champion the project. Michael Rosen has praised the scheme for ‘inventiveness and simplicity’ in its approach to encouraging children and young people to read for pleasure.

ABOUT Brighton Festival
Brighton Festival is England’s largest and most established annual curated multi-arts festival, taking place across three weeks in the city each May. An innovative commissioning and producing arts festival which offers an ambitious programme that makes the most of the city’s distinctive atmosphere, it is a major milestone in the international cultural calendar. 2016 marks a landmark in its history with the 50th edition of Brighton Festival. Each year Brighton Festival attracts inspiring and internationally significant Guest Directors who bring cohesion to the artistic programme. This year’s Guest Director is the pioneering artist and musician Laurie Anderson, who follows in the footsteps of British sculptor Anish Kapoor as inaugural curator in 2009, the Godfather of modern music Brian Eno in 2010, the Burmese Democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi in 2011, actress and Human Rights campaigner Vanessa Redgrave in 2012, poet, author and former Children’s Laureate Michael Rosen in 2013, choreographer, composer, musician and performer Hofesh Shechter in 2014 and award-winning Scottish author Ali Smith.  Full programme details of the 50th Brighton Festival will be announced on Wednesday 17 February 2016. For press enquiries about Brighton Festival contact Emma Robertson, Head of Press and PR - | 01273 260 803 or Chris Challis, Senior Press Officer – | 01273 260838

ABOUT Collected Works CIC 
Award winning Collected Works CIC is a Brighton & Hove based social enterprise, devoted shared reading in the community. It delivers the city’s big read for adults (City Reads) each year, as well as many innovative reading projects across the region. 

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