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Book deal backed by Toon ace; Mike backs reading drive.

Byline: ANDREW GLOVER

SCHOOLS in the North East have been urged to get involved in a new reading project backed by Newcastle United and the Premier League.

Toon defender Mike Williamson joined other top-flight players in launching Premier League Reading Stars.

He chose The Adventures of Meg and Mog by Helen Nicoll as his favourite children's book and is backing kids to do more reading.

United are also running a competition for schools to win five free resource packs from the National Literacy Trust.

The pack includes football resources for 32 pupils and exclusive online access to videos of Premier League players talking about their books.

The prize will also include a free two-hour literary themed workshop and stadium tour at St James' Park.

Of his chosen book, Williamson said: "I would recommend that kids read The Adventures of Meg & Mog. I find it really funny and light-hearted, plus it has a lot of hidden meanings.

"It's great when books can teach life lessons and capture your imagination at the same time."

Premier League Reading Stars, which is delivered by the National Literacy Trust and funded by Arts Council England and the Premier League, started in 2003. Since then over 100 Premier League players have supported the project with 15,000 children and parents taking part. Over 50,000 books have been read.

The choices of the players' books range from bestsellers to the classics, thrillers to history.

Once again there are familiar names such as Roald Dahl, JK Rowling, Dan Brown and Julia Donaldson, but Paulo Coelho, Bram Stoker, Harper Lee and Alexandre Dumas also make an appearance.

Three of the players involved are also authors in their own right. Arsenal's Theo Walcott, Fulham goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer and Stoke City's Carlo Nash have released books. * Schools can enter to win the free pack and workshop at St James' Park by emailing foundation@nufc.co.uk by February 10.

Five winners will be selected at random and will be notified by February 20.

Schools and libraries can view the full list of books and order the resource pack by visiting www.premierleaguereadingstars.

org.uk

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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Feb 3, 2012
Words:360
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