First Minister launches new app for teen readers

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon with students at the launch of Scottish Book Trusts new app, Bookzilla. Picture: Alastair Watson
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon with students at the launch of Scottish Book Trusts new app, Bookzilla. Picture: Alastair Watson

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has helped launch a new app - Bookzilla - which has been developed by Scottish Book Trust and digital agency Dubit.

Bookzilla is aimed at early secondary school students in Scotland, with the app encouraging pupils to read for pleasure, whether they are already regular readers or just embarking on their reading journey.
Free to download and use, it will benefit young people and schools across Scotland, helping them to build reading cultures within their schools and communities.
The app was co-designed with young people and, throughout the development process, the Scottish Book Trust worked with more than 750 pupils from 16 secondary schools across Scotland. The name, Bookzilla, was also chosen by students, conducted through a survey.
Through the app, users will be able to receive tailored book recommendations and discover books that have been enjoyed by their peers.
Pupils will also learn about new releases and books across a range of genres, take on ‘reading dares’ and set challenges for themselves to motivate them on their reading journey.
The Scottish Book Trust has partnered with Browns Books for Students, who have recommended age-appropriate titles for S1-S3 pupils.
Around 1,200 books will initially be listed on Bookzilla, with more regular updates to be added. The app will also have different featured collections every month, and as well as English titles, Gaelic and Scots books will also be available to browse.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “We know that reading for pleasure brings not just enjoyment but also benefits for attainment and young people’s mental health, which is why I launched the First Minister’s Reading Challenge.
"But whether you’re an avid reader or new to reading for pleasure, one of the greatest challenges is deciding what to read next.
"I’m excited that all S1-3 pupils in Scotland will have the opportunity to try Bookzilla.”