McDonald’s UK opens up wonderful world of reading for millions of families


·McDonald’s UK announces landmark partnership with the National Literacy Trust, Penguin Random House and Diary of A Wimpy Kid author Jeff Kinney

·The partnership will see 11 million books distributed by the end of year, bringing the number of books given away through its ‘Happy Readers’ campaign to 55 million

McDonald’s UK has today announced plans to bring the number of books it has given away to families to 55 million before the end of 2016, as part of its ‘Happy Readers’ campaign. Working in partnership with the National Literacy Trust and Penguin Random House, for the next five weeks McDonald’s UK will hand out extracts of Jeff Kinney’s much-loved Diary of a Wimpy Kid series.

Announced in January 2013, McDonald’s ‘Happy Readers’ campaign was introduced in response to research showing that one in three children does not own a book and only half of children enjoy reading[1]. With help from partners, including the National Literacy Trust, Penguin Random House and Kobo, McDonald’s has given away books from some of the UK’s best-loved family authors, from Roald Dahl to Enid Blyton, and non-fiction books from award-winning publisher DK’s ‘Amazing World’ series.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid is McDonald’s fifth Happy Readers promotion. Over the next five weeks, McDonald’s plans to give away 11 million fun books offering a window into the mischievous world of schoolboy Greg Heffley and his wimpy kid escapades as part of McDonald’s Happy Meals, making the hugely successful series accessible to millions of children.

The promotion includes:

·Six storybook ‘Survival Guides’ inviting families to follow Greg's Wimpy Kid survival experiences, from enduring long car journeys to teaching parents how to dance.  

.Two specially-created activity books, filled with tips and tricks and a Diary of a Wimpy Kid journal, encouraging kids to get creative by writing their own survival story.

According to the National Literacy Trust’s recent report Children and Young People’s Reading in 2015, Diary of a Wimpy Kid was most frequently named by children and young people as their favourite book. This comes as research from the National Literacy Trust reveals that a quarter of children agree that their parents don’t care if they spend time reading[2].

Emily Somers, Vice President Food and Marketing, McDonald’s UK, said:

“McDonald’s has long been a much-loved family experience and our Happy Meal promotions today are designed to be fun while fuelling imaginations and helping kids to learn. Through Happy Readers we have been able to put millions of books into the hands of families. We can’t wait for customers, young and old, to enjoy exploring the funny world of Greg Heffley through our Wimpy Kid Survival Guides.”

Lisa Rootes, Head of Partnerships at the National Literacy Trust, added:

“Humour is a great way to encourage children to read for enjoyment, which will help them to succeed at school and improve their life chances. The hilarious Diary of a Wimpy Kid promotion will put books into the hands of millions of children, including many who haven’t owned one before, and show families how fun reading together can be.”

Francesca Dow, MD, Penguin Random House added:

‘Last year our Roald Dahl ‘Happy Readers’ promotion put books into the hands of millions of children and we are thrilled to continue this initiative with Diary of a Wimpy Kid, introducing Greg Heffley and other hilarious characters to a brand new audience. We know that children will laugh their way through these exceptional books and be inspired to develop a love for reading from an early age.’



McDonald’s Press Office – 020 8700 7320 /

Blue Rubicon – 020 7260 2700 /

 National Literacy Trust Press Office – 020 7820 62626 /


About McDonald’s UK

McDonald’s currently operates over 1,250 restaurants across the UK, serving millions of customers every day.

About Happy Readers

·In January 2013, McDonald’s committed to putting more than 15 million books into the hands of families across the UK by the end of 2014. To date, McDonald’s has handed out 44 million books, and is on track to put 55 million books into the hands of families by the end of 2016.

·The Diary of a Wimpy Kid promotion will run from Wednesday 14th September – Tuesday 18th October. The following books will be distributed:

Activity Books

o   Survival Activity Book

o   Survival Guide

Story Books

o   How to survive: Embarrassing Families

o   How to survive: Funny Friends

o   How to survive: Problem Pets

o   How to survive: School Disasters

o   How to survive: Summer Trips

o   How to survive: Annoying Brothers

About the National Literacy Trust We are a national charity dedicated to raising literacy levels in the UK. Our research and analysis make us the leading authority on literacy. We run projects in the poorest communities, campaign to make literacy a priority for politicians and parents, and support schools.

Visit to find out more, donate or sign up for a free email newsletter. You can also find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

The National Literacy Trust is a registered charity no. 1116260 and a company limited by guarantee no. 5836486 registered in England and Wales and a registered charity in Scotland no. SC042944. Registered address: 68 South Lambeth Road, London SW8 1RL.

About Penguin Random House UK:

Penguin is a Penguin Random House company.  Penguin Random House is the world’s most global trade book publisher employing more than 10,000 people across almost 250 editorially and creatively independent imprints and publishing houses that collectively publish more than 15,000 new titles annually. Its publishing lists include more than 70 Nobel Prize laureates and hundreds of the world’s most widely read authors including Bill Bryson, Lee Child, Jamie Oliver, Malcolm Gladwell, John Green, Ian McEwan, Nick Hornby, Marian Keyes, Jeff Kinney, James Patterson, Zadie Smith and Jacqueline Wilson.  It is also home to some of the most famous brands such as Puffin, Ladybird, Vintage and Penguin Classics

For more information, please visit our website

About Diary of a Wimpy Kid

Kinney’s work has been widely praised for its ability to turn reluctant readers on to books. The Diary of a Wimpy Kid series has been a permanent fixture high up in the UK Nielsen Bookscan Charts as well as The New York Times bestseller list. The books have been sold in more than 54 editions in 49 languages, and now has168 million copies in print worldwide. Three movies based on the book series have grossed more than $250 million internationally. Jeff Kinney has won five Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards and two Children’s Choice Book Awards. Books in the series have won numerous awards that were voted on by students and teachers around the globe. Book 11 in the series, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Double Down, will publish globally on 1st November 2016.

Fans can interact with the brand on Facebook at WimpyKidBooksUK and on the which has over 3million views and over 21,000 subscribers.

[1] Only 50% of children enjoy reading ‘very much’ or ‘quite a lot’. National Literacy Trust; September 2012.

[2] 25.3% of children agree that “my parents don’t care if I spend any time reading.” National Literacy Trust; April 2016.

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