| June 10, 2015

Penguin Random House: Our Largest Publishing Partner


Back in 2010 when Worldreader was in its very early stages, two of the first publishers to believe in our dream were Penguin and Random House, then separate entities. Together they donated a few hundred titles which, as we grew, helped form the basis for a library that impacted thousands of lives across sub-Saharan Africa.

penguin random house donates thousands of books to Worldreader

Today, we are all too excited to announce that Penguin Random House has increased the number of titles they donated to our programs to become our largest global publishing partner. Their donation crosses all genres, reading levels and age groups enabling us to cater not just to the children in our schools but the adults in our libraries. Among the titles included are beloved children’s classics like the Berenstain Bears, The Magic Tree House, Sesame Street, and Dr. Seuss and African stories like The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind and Facing the Lion: Growing up Maasai on the African Savanna.

Seizing on an opportunity to further increase their impact, Penguin Random House has also begun collaborating with Worldreader on an author ambassador program that will send a globally recognized author to a Worldreader school in sub-Saharan Africa.

Penguin Random House becomes Worldreader's Largest Publishing Partner

Joyce and Felicia reading books on their e-readers.

For many of the children in our programs the Penguin Random House Author Ambassador will be the first author they have ever met. It will be the first time they are able to ask what inspired a story they love or why a character has a particular name or character trait. Critically, it will also be the first time they are able to ask what drove an author to write and hear how an author became successful. For all the secretly budding writers in the room that might be all they need to take that extra step and begin writing their own stories.


Though the impact of Penguin Random House’s donation can be calculated in numbers – hundreds of titles donated to schools several thousand times reaching tens of thousands of children – there is a qualitative element here that is hard to put a price tag to. How much is a child’s excitement at meeting a favorite author worth? What would we pay to see the next best-selling author come from a rural school in Kenya? Those questions are difficult to answer, but what’s clear to us is that Penguin Random House is committed to laying the groundwork necessary to make both things possible.

Are you an author or publisher and interested in partnering with Worldreader? Learn how you can donate e-books too!