World Book Day 2021: take a break from fictional characters and share historical family legacies

Instead of dressing up as their favourite fictional character this year, World Book Day might look a little different for the school children of 2021. In the final leg of the last lockdown (hopefully!), families are paying tribute to unsung heroes in their own family, celebrating some of the incredible historical legacies that often lie hidden in attics.

So this year, children are temporarily sidestepping Harry Potter and Elsa and embracing their ancestral looks to honour their own heritage. They're getting into character, donning 20s flapper dresses, poignant war medals and tweed suits.

Research from StoryTerrace is behind the switch, after revealing that a quarter of Brits are aware of unsung heroes and fascinating ancestral stories in their family, but only few family members actually know the details. With 29% of people believing that the historical legacies and heroes in their family will be distant memories in the near future, StoryTerrace is hoping to step in before it’s too late.

The magic of storytelling

StoryTerrace - the ghostwriting service that helps you turn your own story into a book - hopes this year's World Book Day will inspire the next generation, recalling stories from their own ancestors of love and romance in times of hardship such as the World Wars, stories of immigration and how about Great Grandma who travelled the world at just 16?

Storytelling, after all, brings the world a little bit closer and creates a bond between people from different cultures and identities. It forms a connection that might otherwise be lost.

Over the course of 2020, feelings of isolation, displacement and loneliness may have peaked, but reading a book can boost your mood, bring about a sense of comfort, an escapism, even the feeling of friendship. And this year more than ever, children need that connection.

A selection of StoryTerrace's commissioned stories

Recreating your own story

According to StoryTerrace, over a third of people say they learned more about their parents’ lives ‘from discovering family possessions from the past, overhearing conversations, or speaking with other family members, rather than directly from their parents themselves’. To lose such poignant pieces of history that drive connection will undoubtedly be a tragedy.

Whilst the pandemic has certainly brought about hardship for everyone in different ways, it has gifted us something unique. 27% of people in Britain say that they have faced regret over a lack of recording great family experiences pre-lockdown, and now 5 million people in Britain plan to pen their own books this year.

What better way to keep the magic of storytelling alive for many generations to come, than by regaling stories of your nearest and dearest?