The Book Pixies: Spreading The Love Of Reading Around South London

Lucas Maxwell


Lucas Maxwell has been working with youth in libraries for over fifteen years. Originally from Nova Scotia, Canada, he's been a high school librarian in London, UK for over a decade. In 2017 he won the UK's School Librarian of the Year award and in 2022 he was named the UK Literacy Association's Reading For Pleasure Teacher Champion. He loves Dungeons & Dragons and is the author of Let's Roll: A Guide for Setting up Tabletop Roleplaying Games in Your School or Public Library. You can follow him on Twitter and on his blog.

Book Pixies are roaming South London, spreading the love of reading. Inspired by Emma Watson’s Book Fairies worldwide initiative, Sam Young, the Librarian at Carshalton High School For Girls started the Book Pixies program.

The Book Pixies are student volunteers who lead a community project that encourages people in their community to read and share stories.

Book Pixies

Books are either donated to or by the Learning Resource Centre (LRC) and the Book Pixies redistribute them into the community. The Book Pixies will leave books in public places, maybe at bus stops, parks, outside primary schools or train stations.

Sam was also inspired by artist Doug Shaw, who hides free art weekly around Carshalton and Wallington. The Book Pixies have followed him on social media and saw all of the positive comments his project received.  They wanted to share the joy reading brings to them by starting their own local book sharing project.

The Book Pixies launched the project at Queen Mary’s Children’s Hospital.  They had over 200 books to distribute and thought that this would be a great place to start.  There are many children in the hospital with a lot of time on their hands.

Book PixiesSome of these children are in a big need for a distraction from their current surroundings and to escape to a different world.  The Book Pixies dropped books on the way to the hospital too, at bus stops and outside a few Primary schools.

The Book Pixies were also interviewed by Radio St. Helier about their project.

Using the #BookPixies hashtag, they leave clues as to where they’ll be leaving their books next. Each book is adorned with a bookmark saying “Take Me, Read Me, Leave Me” and the social media contact of the Library.

It’s an amazing community project that connects the students with the people in their area. It’s also a program that I’m going to have to steal for the upcoming 2018/19 year.

I can’t wait to bring this idea to the students in September and I hope that other high school book clubs around the world will also create their own version of the Book Pixies and share them online!