July 30 2014 Latest news:

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Arsenal star Per Mertesacker paid a visit to Islington’s Central Library to kick off celebrations for World Book Day yesterday.

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The Germany international read from one of his favourite stories, Hans Christian Anderson’s The Ugly Duckling, to children from three nearby schools.

He also led a question and answer session with the youngsters from Montem Primary School in Hornsey Road, Holloway, Drayton Park Primary School in Arvon Road, Highbury, and Ambler Primary School in Blackstock Road, Finsbury Park.

The defender said: “My favourite book as a child was Grimm’s Fairytales so it was nice to have a chance to read some stories to the local children today and celebrate World Book Day. If football can help young people to enjoy reading, then that’s great and I am happy to play a part.”

Mertesacker also found time to browse the bookshelves at the library in Fieldway Crescent, Highbury, and was seen leafing through a tome titled A History of Islington, written by Mary Cosh.

Arsenal in the Community has worked with the three schools on various literacy projects over the years.

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