Author Dave Rudden joins UNHCR and Children's Books Ireland to launch annual Refugee Book Reading Campaign


Author Dave Rudden launched the Refugee Book Reading Campaign with students from Canal Way Educate Together, Dublin 8  © Photocall


Bestselling Children’s author Dave Rudden has signed up with UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency and Children’s Books Ireland to support the annual refugee book-reading campaign taking place in libraries and bookshops across Ireland from 18-30 June. Centred around World Refugee Day on 20 June, the campaign is an opportunity to salute the strength and courage of refugees; the solidarity of those countries, including Ireland, who assist refugees; and the contribution refugees make to countries around the world.

The scale of the refugee crisis is staggering, but stories have always been used to find the personal in the gigantic, to give children the tools to understand what's happening in their world, to find common ground where you can hear and be heard” said Dave Rudden. “I'm really honoured to be a part of that, in whatever way I can.”

Over 200 bookshops and libraries across Ireland will take part in the campaign, which encourages adults and children to buy or borrow a book about refugees. Popular titles include ‘The Kite Runner’, which documents the boyhood friendship of two friends in Afghanistan and ‘A Dangerous Crossing‘, a story about a Kurdish boy and his family in Syria, who were forced to flee their home. There is a free UNHCR bookmark with each title bought or borrowed. Using UNHCR’s specially selected book lists for children and adults, readers will have a wide selection of stories from around the world to choose from in the form of fact, fiction, autobiography and photography.

“With the world facing the worst refugee crisis since World War II, there has never been a more important time for people to listen to refugees’ stories. Reading allows us to learn from within another person’s perspective, in a way that no other media can capture,” said Enda O’Neill, Head of Office with UNHCR Ireland. “Reading a refugee book reminds us of the great contribution refugees make to the countries that offer them protection worldwide, including Ireland, which has admitted over 1,800 persons under the Irish Refugee Protection Programme since 2015.”


The book-reading campaign will take place in participating libraries and bookshops nationwide from 18-30 June.


For media enquiries, please contact, Jody Clarke, on 01-6314614 or email [email protected].

Notes for Editors

The Refugee book reading campaign is part of a series of events UNHCR is organising with partners to mark World Refugee Day on 20 June.

The Refugee Food Festival Ireland was launched on 12 June with an event at Eastern Seaboard, Drogheda.

Meanwhile on 24 June, UNHCR and SARI host the 9th Fair Play Football Cup in the Law Society Garden’s, Dublin 7.

For a full list of events, visit:


Participating Bookshops and Libraries


Hodges & Figges, Dublin

Dubray Books, Dublin

O’Mahony Booksellers, Limerick

John’s Bookshop, Athlone

Book Centre, Wexford


Carlow County Library Network

Castlebar Library

Clare County Library Network

Clondalkin Library

Cork City Library Network

Cork County Library Network

Donegal County Library Network

Dublin City Library Network

Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown library network,

Galway City Library Network

Laois County Library

Fingal Library Network

Kilkenny County Library Network

Leitrim County Library Network

Limerick County Library Network

Meath County Library Network

Offaly County Library Network

Roscommon County Library Network

South Dublin County Library Network

Tipperary County Library Network

Waterford City Library Network

Waterford County Library Network

Wexford County Library Network