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News: It’s Our Birthday – Highlights of the Year

What a year it has been! Although BooksForTopics in previous forms has been around since 2016, we’re taking a moment to enjoy the first birthday of the current website today. In this blog, we share five reasons we’re celebrating our website birthday today and reflecting on a fantastic year at BooksForTopics…
website birthday

website birthday

Happy birthday to our website!

It has been a whole year since we shared the new and improved version of our website – and what a year it has been!

This time last year, we relaunched the website. The relaunch project involved months and months of planning, designing, testing and improving the site – a real labour of love as there were already thousands of books on the old website listed on a variety of different booklist styles, as well as a host of other bookish content to consider. With the new website, we shared a fresher style, better-connected navigation and improved user experience for our valued visitors.

The new and improved website went down a treat with the BooksForTopics community, with over 2 million views since it relaunched.

Looking back on the year, there has been much to celebrate! Here are five highlights from the past year of the BooksForTopics website:


1. Our team has expanded!

It’s been a fantastic year behind the scenes at BooksForTopics. The team of people working on the site has expanded in number. We have a small but fantastic team of booklovers dedicated to improving the website for our visitors, with each team member bringing their own areas of expertise and experience to the table. This year, we’ve welcomed additional team members to the social media and digital marketing side of the operation.

new booksSharing the workload across the team enables us to process even more booklists, signpost the best new books for you, and keep in touch with our community via our social media channels and mailing list. The team has been involved in several book awards, panels and initiatives across the book community as well as enjoying book launches and industry events. Teamwork makes the dream work!

In addition, we expanded our Review Panel of teachers with new members to help us review even more new books and to assist us in selecting only the best books for our lists. Contact us if you’d like to join the waiting list to be considered for our Review Panel.


2. We’ve given site members personalised booklists

booksfortopics add favourites

One of the things we loved about relaunching the site was the functionality for users to customise their website experience. Regular site users can save their favourite books and booklists in a unique member area.

We decided to hand over control of the booklist experience. Site members can also create their own booklists by adding custom categories to save and organise favourite books. By clicking ‘Add To Favourite’ on any book page, members can either select a pre-existing category (e.g. My Favourites), or create and organise their own categories by selecting ‘Add New Category’ (like ‘Science Picturebooks’ or ‘Class 2 Wishlist’).

How to Use favouritesAdding custom categories allows members to curate their own booklists relevant to personal interests and needs. You can sign up as a member here.

Hundreds of users have joined the site and made use of the extra features to collate personalised lists and save favourites. Site members can also vote in our Books of the Year Award, which is currently open for voting until the end of December.


3. We’ve championed independent bookshops

When we relaunched the site, we made the decision to add purchasing links to from every booklist and individual book. is an online bookstore with a mission to support independent bookshops.

indie champions shortlistWe aim to provide quality purchasing choices to our website users, and it has been wonderful to see the upward trend in purchases from over the year. Each of our curriculum topic booklists and year group recommended read lists link to our BookShop store, from which all purchases financially support local, independent bookshops. A portion of every other sale on the site goes into a shared pool – this pool is then split between all the bookshops on the platform, so users know they are supporting independent bookshops when they choose this purchasing option.

Exciting news came our way in November 2023, when we were shortlisted for the Indie Champions award for supporting independent bookshops through innovative use of the Bookshop.Org platform. The team at BooksForTopics was over the moon at the news of the awards. It is a pleasure to champion on our booklists and to work together with the incredible host of independent booksellers up and down the country to spread the magic of reading.


4. We’ve added oodles of extra book details

One particular feature of the relaunched site has been a tremendous hit with teachers looking for added information about the books on our booklists.  We know that our regular users love our themed booklists, but the new site has made it super-easy to find even more information about each book selected for our lists with the introduction of individual book information information page Click on any book cover image from the booklists and you will be taken to a specific book information page – like this one.

This year, we’ve seen thousands of visitors to our book information pages. We’ve been working hard to add value by including review panel reviews, purchasing links, age suitability, linked booklists and printable classroom resources provided by our publishing partners wherever possible.

The book information pages are designed to inform book choices by providing extra details when users browse our lists. We’re thrilled by our community’s positive responses to these pages.


5. We’ve been helping schools to fund book packs 

One of the initiatives we’re most proud of this year is the launch of our partnership with Support Your School to help schools fund book packs to boost reading for pleasure. Support Your School is a free fundraising platform for schools. Registered schools can raise money through donations from the local community to support their literacy and reading for pleasure mission.

Schools can already purchase full sets of our book packs via Peters – a popular choice to supply classroom libraries and book corners with age-appropriate selections of top-quality books to read for pleasure. We recognise that not all schools are in a position to purchase new books that will make a difference to children’s reading for pleasure, and we wanted to come up with a new way for schools to easily raise funds for our popular recommended reads book new books for your school

So this year, we partnered with Support Your School to help schools fundraise for full year group sets to support reading for pleasure in each year group. There is no cost to schools, and participating schools can spend 100% of the funds raised on books to boost children’s reading for pleasure. Schools simply sign up, share their page, reach the fundraising target and receive their book packs!

You can find out more here.



Although BooksForTopics in previous forms has been around since 2016, we’re taking a moment to enjoy the first birthday of the current website today and want to extend heartfelt thanks to our wonderful community of teachers, parents, TAs, librarians, and book lovers who use the site and help us to thrive and grow. Here’s to the next year of sharing the love of books and reading together!

If you’ve been enjoying the relaunched site this year, please share the link with your school community or drop us a message to let us know. We’d love to hear which features are most helpful and what you’d like to see more of. Be sure to sign up for our mailing list to receive our latest updates and news.


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Stone Girl Bone Girl


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