Merry Hill Shopping Centre is launching an action-packed community campaign to bring the magic of reading to life.

Merry Hill's Reading Rocks campaign, which ties in with the 2008 National Year of Reading, was launched earlier this month by children's characters Harry Potter and Professor Dumbledore and forms part of the centre's commitment to improving literacy within the community.

During the eight weeks, the centre will be putting on a wide range of free book-related activities, film screenings and school creative writing workshops. In addition, the centre is funding a book swapping initiative in conjunction with the charity Book Aid, through which children who donate two old books will receive a new one in return.

Kelly Reed, marketing manager at Merry Hill, said: "With the long summer holiday ahead, books are a great way for kids to escape to magical distant lands. In a bid to improve the region's literacy, we are bringing reading to life by organising a wide range of free activities and workshops where kids create their own adventures.

"The National Year of Reading aims to raise awareness of the importance of reading and inspire more people to talk about and take part in reading for pleasure.

"So we are embracing all forms of reading including poetry, comics, nursery rhymes, and books turned into screenplays."

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