Hook into Books

The Hook into Books Campaign

We live in a knowledge-rich society, characterised by a wealth of ideas and information. The ability to understand, communicate and transfer this abundance of information is built upon the foundation skills of reading and writing.

Hook into Books highlights the many young Australians who struggle everyday with these very skills. These young people experience daily barriers to accessing meaningful, appropriate educational opportunities and consequently, sadly contribute to the 50% of 15 to 24-year-olds are unable to read to an adequate level to properly function in society. Additionally, the go onto make up the 46% of Australians who cannot function effectively in a knowledge- based economy, due to poor literacy.

Improved literacy and the actual art of reading has many benefits including, mental stimulation, stress reduction, knowledge building, vocabulary expansion, improved memory, stronger analytical thinking skills, improved focus and concentration and better writing skills.  However, we are not all made equal, and many young people in Australia have experienced disrupted educational journeys for a range of complex reasons. Many of these young people have not been provided with opportunities to develop literacy skills, many do not know the joy of being read to in childhood, or guided to develop an interest in, or an understanding of the benefits of reading.

Hook into Books is an awareness raising campaign – it’s an opportunity to start a conversation about these young people who are slipping through the cracks in our education systems. A Campaign about these young people who are expected to contribute positively to society, yet have not been given an equal opportunity to thrive and grow like their peers.

Hook into Books aims to change the lives of these young people, one page at a time.

The Campaign begins in June each year and runs through National Book Week and concludes at the end of National Numeracy and Literacy Week each year (June – September).

During this time, our aim is to get the word out – that being literate is essential to positive life outcomes, and to increase societal awareness that there are many young people today, who continue to experience significant educational disadvantage.

Our Ambassador

Click to hear from Sam 

Samantha Wheeler

Samantha Wheeler studied Agriculture, worked with dairy farmers, and taught science, before writing her first children’s book, inspired by koalas, in 2011. Her
books, which include Smooch & Rose, Wombat Warriors, Mister Cassowary, and Turtle Trackers have been shortlisted for the Queensland Literary Awards, the
Readings Book Prize, The Wilderness Society Environmental Award and the Royal Zoological Society, Whitley Commendation. Her most recent story, Everything I’ve Never Said, was inspired by her youngest daughter, who has Rett Syndrome and can’t talk. Samantha hopes her books will inspire everyone to speak up and make a difference.

Samantha has begun building relationships within the Youth+ Flexible Learning Centres and has a passion for promoting a range of diverse literature engagement opportunities for young people. Through her work, Samantha knows first hand how important good literacy is, how important it is to expose children and young people to literature and to support a love of reading.

The Youth Plus Foundation is honoured to join with Sam as it endeavours on a National Campaign to highlight the importance of literacy in our everyday lives and promote a love of reading and the joy that can be experienced by losing yourself in reading! Check out Sam’s website here 

Campaign Champions – Check out our supporters here 

Key Messages of the Campaign

  • Education is a human right and we all have a role to play in the education of our young people
  • We will positively expose young people to high quality literature that meet their needs
  • It is fundamental to bridge the gaps in young people’s literacy experiences
  • A functional society requires a contributing community – young people are our future – we need to nurture and support their capacity to positively contribute
  • Literacy skills enable young people to engage in learning and ultimately fully participate and lead productive lives
  • Knowledge is power, education is freedom
  • It’s in everyone’s interest to make sure our young people get the best education possible

Key Facts of the Campaign

  • Research shows that highly developed numeracy and literacy capabilities strongly contribute to the social, economic and physical wellbeing of individuals (1)
  • The Building blocks for literacy start very early in life and a child’s early literacy skills are a predictor of later literacy and academic achievement (2)
  • A number of factors affect successful educational outcomes during the school year such as a young person’s home environment (including whether books are available at home and whether parents read aloud to their children. (3)
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children are considered more developmentally vulnerable in each of the Australian Early Development Index (AEDI) measures than non-Indigenous children, with a higher proportion of children living in very remote areas considered developmentally vulnerable in each of the AEDI measures (4)
  • 46% of adult Australians cannot function effectively in a knowledge-based economy, due to poor literacy (5)
  • 50% of 15 to 24-year-olds are unable to read to an adequate level to properly function in society (6)
  • 50% of our language is learned by three years of age (7)
  • 93% of children in out-of-home care are behind their peers academically (8)

Campaign Logo

It’s important the campaign brand and message are used consistently to build awareness. You may wish to add the campaign logo to other materials you produce.

Campaign social media posts

Copy and paste the share graphics, or adapt or add a comment as you see fit to add to your social media posts #hookintobooks


Suggested tweets you can use to support the campaign #hookintobooks  Tweets

Download a Hook into Books – Supporters Pack


  • Catch-a-flexi-reader 2019 – an online photo sharing competition operating across Flexible Learning Centres. Students are encouraged to ‘catch’ someone reading at home, in the community or at school and take artistic, unidentified photos to be shared across the Youth Plus Foundation’s socials
  • The Traveling Suitcase – A stocked Suitcase will travel across the Flexible Learning Centres containing a range of YA resources – books, magazines and audio-books during the Campaign
  • Choose Your Own Adventure writing workshops – Flexible Learning Centres may engage in a series of writing workshops, facilitated by Queensland Author, Samantha Wheeler. The workshops engage young people in meaningful literacy-based activities and aim to build on young people’s literacy levels and produce age/developmentally appropriate material (an anthology of short stories) that will be shared across the Flexible Learning Centre Network
  • A Flexi Mindfulness Reading hour will be encouraged across Flexible Learning Centres during the campaign to highlight the importance of prioritising reading and being in the ‘moment’ in conjunction with the Australian Reading Hour – 19th September 2019.
  • Cross-promotion and linkage with libraries and book shops as localised literacy support
  • A range of information about programs, services and resources will be distributed via the Youth Plus Foundation socials to cater for all people at all stages of their learning journey.



(1) Department for Education and Child Development, (2013) Numeracy and literacy a numeracy and literacy strategy from birth to 18. Adelaide: Government of South Australia (Department for Education and Child Development).

(2) Neuman, S.B., Dickinson, D. K (eds) (2010). Handbook of early literacy research. The Guildford press: New York.

(3) Walsh L & Black R, (2009). Overcoming the barriers to engagement and equity for all students. Canberra: Foundation for Young Australians.

(4) http://video.wch.org.au/aedi/ National_Report-March_2011_Reissue_final.pdf Australian Early Development Index (AEDI) National Report 2009, Re-issue – March 2011 Pg 12 (Summary of key findings)

(5) http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/mf/4228.0 Australian Bureau of Statistics 2007, Adult Literacy and Life Skills Survey, Summary Results, Australia, cat. no. 4228.0, ABS, Canberra.

(6) http://www.abs.gov.au/ AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/Lookup/4102.0Chapter6102008 Australian Bureau of Statistics 2008, Australian social trends 2008 Australia, cat. No 4102.0, ABS, Canberra

(7) http://www.literacytrust.org.uk/ assets/0000/7883/Updated_Strategic_Guidance_Paper.pdf Hamer, Dr Cathy, Guidance for developing a strategic approach to speech, language and communication in the early years. Talk to Your Baby, National Literacy Trust, updated February 2011

(8) McDowall, J. (2018). Out-of-Home Care in Australia. Children and young people’s views after five years of national standards. Create Foundation

Megan HallHook into Books