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An enchanting memoir on childhood reading, BOOKWORM by Lucy Mangan, is published in hardback and ebook today by Square Peg. Lucy revisits childhood favourites in this immersive read, reflecting on what these stories meant as a young reader, and how these meanings have changed over time. Jacqueline Wilson has praised BOOKWORM as ‘passionate, witty, informed, and gloriously opinionated'. 

When Lucy Mangan was little, stories were everything. They opened up new worlds and cast light on all the complexities she encountered in this one.

She was whisked away to Narnia, Kirrin Island, and Wonderland. She ventured down rabbit holes and womble burrows into midnight gardens and chocolate factories. She wandered the countryside with Milly-Molly-Mandy, and played by the tracks with the Railway Children. With CHARLOTTE’S WEB she discovered Death and with Judy Blume it was Boys. No wonder she only left the house for her weekly trip to the library or to spend her pocket money on amassing her own at home.

In BOOKWORM, Lucy revisits her childhood reading with wit, love and gratitude. She relives our best-loved books, their extraordinary creators, and looks at the thousand subtle ways they shape our lives. She also disinters a few forgotten treasures to inspire the next generation of bookworms and set them on their way. Bringing the favourite characters of our collective childhoods back to life – prompting endless re-readings, rediscoveries, and, inevitably, fierce debate – Lucy brilliantly uses them to tell her own story, that of a born, and unrepentant, bookworm.

Lucy Mangan is a journalist and a writer for the Guardian. She has written for most major women’s magazines, including Grazia, Marie Claire and Cosmopolitan, and has a weekly column in Stylist magazine. She was named Columnist of the Year at PPA Awards in 2013. Her works include MY FAMILY AND OTHER DISASTERS, HOPSCOTCH AND HANDBAGS: The Essential Guide to Being a Girl, and THE RELUCTANT BRIDE. A commemoration of 50 years of Roald Dahl's CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY, INSIDE CHARLIE'S CHOCOLATE FACTORY was published by Puffin UK/US in 2014.

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Praise for BOOKWORM:

‘Throughout BOOKWORM [Mangan] artfully evokes that peculiar magic of reading as a child…Deliciously unrepentant, Mangan’s BOOKWORM makes a timely case not just for how vital reading is, but also for rereading books as a child, and how reading remains consoling, fortifying and, sometimes, magical.’ — Helen Davies, The Times

‘A wonderful romp through the pages of childhood, illuminated by wisdom, humour and enthusiasm.’ — Bernard Cornwell

‘Absolutely gorgeous. I felt like this was written just for me, and I think everyone will feel this way.’ — Jenny Colgan

'Beautiful and moving... It will kickstart a cascade of nostalgia for countless people' — Marian Keyes

‘Mangan is writing to and for her fellow book junkies, the ones who can’t leave the house without a book (or three) in their bag, for whom even the thought of doing so brings them out in a cold sweat. BOOKWORM invites us to relive and re-evaluate our own childhood reading, and has the good manners to entertain us along the way.’ — Claire Hennessy, Headstuff

‘What a treat! If you remember reading any of these for the first time, or just identify as a bookworm in general this book is such a delight…I can’t think of a better tribute to the power of reading…an ideal gift for any bookworm you know.’ — Bee Reader