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Buy a copy of The Marshmallow Collector and support Children's Cancer North

After many months of hard work behind the scenes by author Phil Berry, we’re over the moon to announce during National Storytelling Week (27 Jan – 04 Feb) the launch of a new educational e-book for children that will help raise money for Children’s Cancer North.

The Marshmallow Collector – a thrilling adventure story to help children develop their reading – is out now and can be purchased from our online shop.

Author Phil Berry, who currently works as a Translation Manager at Cancer Research Horizons (CRUK), wrote and illustrated the book to help children develop their reading skills. Inspired by his work supporting children with cancer, Phil wanted to create a book that would take children on an adventure and help them with their reading, whilst at the same time raising vital funds for cancer research.

Phil said: “When we were homeschooling our son during the covid lockdowns, we used to make up stories and adventures to help him with his reading – the yoga mat became a magic carpet, and clouds morphed into a story about collecting marshmallows.

“One evening I couldn’t sleep and I began to think, ‘could I create a story book that not only helps my son learn now to read, but also raises money for cancer research?’ The idea started there, and before I knew it I’d written the first story.”

Phil’s first book, The Marshmallow Collector, is inspired by the lockdown stories he created with his son. Allowing children to create their own adventure by choosing their own character in the story, and how the tale develops, the reading level of the books can be set by children and parents – ranging from easy to hard.

Phil continued: “As well as being fun to read, The Marshmallow Collector lets children expand their vocabulary and try new words in a creative and entertaining way. There are 18 different story routes in the book and four difficulty levels, so children can go back again and again as their reading develops.

“When I was writing the book I also thought about my day job at the time, which was in a cancer laboratory monitoring the levels of chemotherapy children received during cancer treatment. They can be sat for hours in hospital and miss a lot of school, so I thought this book would be a great way for them to go on a magical adventure from their bed, and learn at the same time too.

“From the very beginning of this project, I knew I wanted to donate money from the sale of the book to a children’s cancer charity because sadly, childhood cancers remain an underfunded area of cancer research.”

Chris Peacock, Chair of Trustees at Children’s Cancer North, said:

“Phil has dedicated his career to supporting cancer research and this book, and the books that will follow, demonstrate his passion and commitment to help others.

“Not only has he created an exciting and interactive way for children to improve their reading ability, he’s only raising money to support the hundred’s of children diagnosed with cancer in the North East and Cumbria every year.

“We’re incredibly proud that Phil has chosen to donate money from the sale from his e-book to Children’s Cancer North; helping our charity continue to fund revolutionary research and raise awareness of the impact of childhood cancer on children and young people.”

The Marshmallow Collector is available to purchase now from the Children’s Cancer North online shop and from the FAYBL (For All Young Book Lovers) website for Android and IOS devices. When you visit the FAYBL website, click on ‘ENTER THE CASTLE’ > ‘LIBRARY’ > ‘BOOKSHELF’ > ‘BUY / USE GIFT CODE’.

There is no fixed price for the book; Phil has chosen a ‘pay what you want’ model instead. That means you decide how much you want to pay; the more you spend, the more money that comes to Children’s Cancer North.

We’d like to say congratulations to Phil on the publication of his first book, and a huge thank you for supporting Children’s Cancer North. Happy reading everyone!

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