PUPILS at a rural school have been given a book boost after an appeal to help stock their library.

St James' Primary's literature quest was aided by Malvern Trinity councillor Natalie McVey's £750 funding from her Worcestershire County Council divisional budget.

The West Malvern Road school then turned to its book club sponsor Malvern Book Co-operative to match around 100 texts to its reading spine covering a range of authors, themes and genres, ensuring the 55 pupils will have more page-turners.

Liam Hanson, St James' interim headteacher, said: "Natalie spotted our appeal and very kindly came to our rescue with a wonderful donation.

"That has covered us for at least 12 months. We do need lots of books and, being a small school, resources are always stretched so we do rely on some charity and help from outside the school wherever possible.

"We were overwhelmed with such a fantastic response. We are very lucky and can't wait to put it to good use and get the books in hands because the children at our school absolutely love reading.

"It's such a key part of the curriculum which feeds into everything else. Having that kind of rich history, particularly in Malvern with all the culture that's here, we really want to push that as much as we can with our pupils. The children are really pleased and happy."

Cllr McVey, who started new initiatives for youngsters as a manager in the county's library services until leaving three years ago, said: "I really do understand the importance of books in children's lives. Escaping with a book into magical lands, there is no better thing to do.

"There was a schools' library service that the county council ran but unfortunately that closed down so schools are really reliant on funding from external sources to be able to get the books for their libraries.

"In my opinion, every school, whether it's primary or secondary, needs a library so that children have got access to books they might not otherwise have at home."

West Malvern-based Susan Raine, a founding member of the St Ann's Road bookshop from when it formed in 2012, said: "We are very keen to support any community initiatives involving reading and books so we were delighted to be given a list of titles and to supply them all to the school."