Duffy Books was conceived in 1992 when the author Alan Duff visited Camberley School in Hastings. According to Principal Peter Johnstone "Alan was appalled to see so many children come from bookless homes."

Following a meeting with philanthropist Christine Fernyhough in 1994 the Alan Duff Charitable Foundation was legally formed. The official launch of the programme (then known as Books in Homes) took place at Tairangi School in Wellington on 24 August 1995 and was attended by then Prime Minister Jim Bolger.

The programme began with 80 schools, 16,000 students and 14 sponsors. In 2019 the programme reported almost 520 schools, nearly 300 Early Childhood Centres, over 100,000 students and more than 200 funding partners and supporters.

Duffy Books has a stated aim of inspiring "a love of books in Duffy children so they become adults who inspire a love of reading." Its core function is as a form of book club in which students at low decile primary and intermediate schools in New Zealand order books from a brochure which are then presented at role model assemblies at the end of three school terms. Each child participating receives a minimum of five new books each year.

We at Taoroa School and Duffy Books in Homes would like to THANK Stephanie Edwards for continuing to support our students. Your support helps the Duffy programme to function the way it does.