Marcus Rashford scores in book charts with You Are a Champion

Public sympathy for the defeated England striker has sent sales rocketing for his inspirational life guide for kids

Marcus Rashford’s children’s book You Are a Champion has shot to the top of the charts in the days after England lost the Euro 2020 final to Italy.

A guide for young people in which the footballer shares stories from his own life and reveals how to “dream big” and “find your team”, You Are a Champion was published at the end of May, co-written with journalist Carl Anka. It topped the children’s bestseller charts for four weeks until it was knocked off by David Walliams’ new novel Megamonster.

But in the wake of last weekend’s match – and the support that has poured forth for Rashford after his missed penalty kick and the racist abuse that followed it – You Are a Champion shot to the top of Amazon’s overall books chart, ahead of bestsellers by Richard Osman, Matt Haig and Walliams.

“I’m sure I also speak for @matthaig1 and @davidwalliams when I say it’s lovely to see a brand-new number 1 book on Amazon today,” tweeted Osman in response. “Congratulations @MarcusRashford and @Ankaman616.”

Bookshops around the UK have launched a range of crowdfunding initiatives this week to get copies of Rashford’s book to as many children as possible. Book-ish in Crickhowell, Wales, has raised more than £8,000 to buy copies for local secondary school children, with Mirror Me Write in Manchester, Gullivers Bookshop in Wimborne Minster, Winstone’s Hunting Raven Bookshop in Frome and Newham Bookshop in London undertaking similar initiatives.

“I am overwhelmed by the generosity of people who have donated over £1,000 to get his book to local children,” said Vivian Archer at Newham Bookshop. “One person who bid for a signed copy said he will donate that to a child who could be inspired to go on to great things. Thank you Marcus.”

Publisher Pan Macmillan pledged an additional 20,000 free copies to the crowdfunding bookshops’ campaigns. “It is wonderful to see how our industry has pulled together to take positive action to support Marcus Rashford and his message of hope, and we are delighted to be adding support to the campaigns,” said Macmillan Children’s Books’ Belinda Ioni Rasmussen. “Marcus is an inspirational young man and his book speaks directly to children and young people, reinforcing the message that you can be whatever and whoever you want to be, regardless of your background.”

In June, Rashford and Macmillan launched the Marcus Rashford Book Club, which aims to develop a love of reading and literacy in children aged eight to 12, kicking off with the title A Dinosaur Ate My Sister by Pooja Puri, 50,000 copies of which were donated to schools in disadvantaged areas of the UK.


Alison Flood

The GuardianTramp

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