A quarter of seven-year-olds living in poverty in the North West fall short of their expected reading levels, according to a new report.
Save the Children revealed more than 4 thousand poor children in the region are behind in their reading.
The charity is launching a "Born to Read" campaign to encourage children to read.
Save the Children interviewed children and parents from low income families.
The charity found a quarter of children in the North West said their parents are cutting back on buying food and new clothes.
One in six of the North West's poorest parents say their children have to go without new shoes. The same proportion say their kids may have to do without a winter coat.
Alison, aged 14, told researchers: "When I ask for stuff my mum tells me to go away. I wish I could get a whole load of money and give it to her."
Save the Children says according to one study the North West is home to nine out of 10 of the poorest communities in England.
The charity has published a new report called 'It Shouldn't Happen Here', which says the North West's poorest children are bearing the brunt of the recession.
Three quarters of parents on low incomes have just £50 a week to spend on food, the study had found.
The North West has been named as one of the most deprived areas of the UK.
Children's charity Save the Children says according to one study the region is home to nine out of 10 of the poorest communities in England. Five of those are in Liverpool.
The charity says parents and children in the region are suffering after "years of stagnating wages, inflation and cuts to welfare spending".
It is trying to raise £500,000 to help British families – the first time it has appealed to the UK public for funds to help children at home.