Alex Wheatle on the World Book Night 2022 list

14 April 2022

We are thrilled that Alex Wheatle’s WITNESS, a thrilling, pacy story that is full of moral complexity and insight into gang violence, has been chosen as one of the World Book Night books for 2022.


To tell the truth? Or protect his family?

Cornell is having a bad time. Kicked out of secondary school for a fight he didn’t start, he finds himself in a Pupil Referral Unit. Here he makes friends with one of the Sinclair family. You don’t mess with the Sinclairs, and when Ryan Sinclair demands Cornell comes with him to teach another student some respect, Ryan witnesses something that will change his life.

Torn between protecting his family and himself, Cornell has one hell of a decision to make.  


World Book Night is a national celebration of reading and books that takes place on 23 April every year. Print books are gifted throughout the UK and Ireland with a focus on reaching those who don’t regularly read for pleasure or have access to books, through organisations including prisons, libraries, colleges, hospitals, care homes and homeless shelters.

Witness is one of the Quick Reads titles, aiming to inspire emerging or lapsed readers to get back into books. One in six adults in the UK find reading difficult, and one in three people do not regularly read for pleasure. These books cost just £1 at bookshops, or are free at libraries across the country.

Take a look at the 2022 booklist, featuring Alex Wheatle’s WITNESS and find out how you can join in the celebrations on 23 April:

Follow @WorldBookNight @readingagency and Alex Wheatle @brixtonbard