Target Who Books Donated to Schools: 9673
Inspired Donations by Other People: 416

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Donating 11,000 Books to School Libraries to support Children's Literacy

Friday 26 April 2013

The Target Master Plan

There’s a rumour going around about a crazy Doctor Who fan that bought 11,000 Target Doctor Who books off eBay and never even got a full set!  There is a grain of truth in it.  There was an eBay auction of 11,000 Doctor Who books, multiple copies of 36 titles. However, it wasn’t one Doctor Who fan that bought them, it was a small group of us.  We didn’t buy them for ourselves - We have a plan, and when you read what it is below, you just might think we are all a little crazy.

Firstly, for the benefit of anyone who does not know, here is a little about Target Books.  The imprint was set up in 1973 and its initial selection of children’s books included reprints of three Doctor Who novelisations, first published in the 1960s.  With these three books proving the most popular sellers, the publishers soon commissioned more and over the next 21 years 156 individual Doctor Who novelisations were released, selling a staggering 13 million copies worldwide.

Some of the ranges most popular books, recently reprinted for a new generation to enjoy
With the TV series experiencing a rebirth in recent years and having the same effect on this current generation of children, we have heard from some school teachers how these books are still incredibly popular on classroom bookshelves, especially amongst those reluctant male readers.  So when over 11,000 of these vintage books were discovered, still shrink wrapped in the publisher’s original packaging and placed as a bulk sale item on eBay, we knew what we wanted to do - purchase the books and donate them in small batches free to schools around the country.  They sit perfectly in both Upper Junior School classroom shelves and Senior School libraries.  For us it is our way of celebrating the show’s 50th Anniversary.  As the classic and new series come together this year, we as the childhood fans of yesteryear want to share with the current and next generation of fans the books that inspired and encouraged us to read.  We hope they will sit in school libraries for many years to come, constantly being discovered and enjoyed by children.
A small selection of our books.  We'll show you a picture of all of them soon!

It is also, partially, an experiment. We have no funding for this, nor are we asking for any.  We will seek to achieve our aim by distributing via our extended friends and family network and seeking the help of people within the teaching profession. 
This blog will document our project.  It will tell our story from initial crazy idea, until the distribution of the final book.  It will show, via a pin map, exactly what locations we manage to get books to and hopefully report any feedback we may receive from teachers and pupils.  With it we hope to put a smile on every reader’s face.

We live in an era when a crazy idea can spread across the globe in a matter of hours.  In fact this crazy group of ours is testament to that as we hail from England, Scotland, Wales, Eire, United States of America, Canada, New Zealand and Ukraine!  We hope to use other social media to generate publicity.  Not publicity for us, for we are not seeking to do this for praise, but for publicity for our idea that children’s literacy is important and that we, the generation that grew up embracing reading can help introduce the current generation to its pleasures.  It is sad that some of our children are growing up regarding reading as just ‘something they are made to do at school.’  It only takes one book to captivate children and make them realise that it’s not a collection of printed pages, but an adventure waiting to escape into their minds and feed their imagination.  If just one of our books can inspire a child, all our efforts will have been worth it.

Schools - Email your address and a contact name to to register your interest in receiving some of our books

Doctor Who Fans: Can you also help?

We acknowledge that there will be parts of the country we cannot reach.  We simply don’t have friends or relatives in that area, but there are Doctor Who fans EVERYWHERE!  Also there are more schools in the UK than we have books.  Children around the country would love Doctor Who books in their school libraries.  We hope that you will all join us in our quest to put a Doctor Who book in every school on this the 50th Anniversary year.  If you have ever read a Target book, if you have ever enjoyed the show, or even if you just think our aim is a wonderful idea, please consider buying just one book and donating it to YOUR local school.  If you cannot find an old Target novelisation, or your budget doesn’t allow for one of the new full length novels, one of the new Doctor Who Quick-Reads would be perfect. The latest one only costs £1.00. 
If you do, please tell us where and we can record your donation on our pin map.

We hope to finish with a map with not only thousands of pins denoting where we have give our books freely, but also a second set of pins denoting where other fans have been inspired by us to also donate a book of their own to school.

We can be contacted in the following ways:
Twitter: @targetwho
Via our Facebook group:
or you can comment on any post here.

We know how generous the Doctor Who community can be and hope you will join us in celebrating this special year by embracing our idea. We are really hoping someone can put a Yeti novel in a school in Tooting Bec!*

*In-joke only understood by ancient Doctor Who fans


  1. Good luck with this fantastic project. As a primary school teacher I can tell you Target books are very popular indeed amongst my Y5 and 6 kids. What a wonderful way to share your love of the show with your local communities.

    Andy Dobson - West Dean Primary School

  2. Mark P....... (The Scots/Welshman)2 May 2013 at 18:05

    Fantastic Project Dave!!
    Really hope this takes off for you. It was you who, 20+ years ago, got me stuck in with books and now I can't get enough. Thanks!

  3. Hi, how can schools express an interest in the books?
    Annie M

  4. Hi Annie,

    Simply get someone in your school to email the school address and a contact name to