The Reading Agency Teams up with Nike and Rebel Girls for the Summer Reading Challenge

Celebrating female athletes, the partnership will gift 500,000 limited-edition books to children via libraries in England, Scotland and Wales.

It was announced today that The Reading Agency will team up with Nike and Rebel Girls this summer, to gift 500,000 books to children across the UK as part of their hugely successful Summer Reading Challenge.

This exciting, first-time partnership between the sports and empowerment brands and The Reading Agency will see an extensive UK book give-away when they gift half a million copies of the new, limited edition book, Rebel Girls Kick It: World Champions Take the Pitch, and You Can Too via 191 library authorities as well as community partners across England, Scotland and Wales, as part of the nationwide initiative to get children reading through the school holidays.

Rebel Girls Kick It: World Champions Take the Pitch, and You Can Too is created by Rebel Girls to celebrate female athletes and features stories, fun facts and original illustrations of Nike athletes as well as Q&As with coaches, and activities to increase children’s confidence whilst playing sport.

Aimed at all children aged between 7-12 years, the books will be distributed via The Reading Agency’s library partners from early July, to encourage children to visit the library and join the Summer Reading Challenge. This year’s Challenge, Ready, Set, Read!, is a drive to get all children excited about reading through games, sport and play, with an exciting, themed book collection to help them on their reading journey. Libraries will choose how to distribute the books, whether it’s kickstarting a child’s Summer Reading Challenge journey or as a special reward to take home after taking part. From 1 July, the stories will also be available for free digitally via as well as Nike’s app and social channels.

Karen Napier, Chief Executive of The Reading Agency, said: “We’re delighted to be collaborating with Rebel Girls and Nike for this year’s Summer Reading Challenge. It’s fantastic to see the importance of reading high up on the agenda for such far-reaching, global brands. This generous gift will ensure even more children discover the Summer Reading Challenge this year, activating their imaginations and celebrating the power of play, games and sport.”

The gifting of the books is just one element of Nike and Rebel Girls’ content partnership to inspire confidence in girls through the joy of sport. The campaign will reach more than one million girls through multi-media storytelling alongside the Nike FC Rebel Girls Tour. In total, Nike will distribute nearly one million copies of the book across the UK, France, Australia and U.S. via Nike stores, events and community partners.

Now in its 24th year, the free Summer Reading Challenge encourages children across the UK to get reading over the summer holidays from June to September and this year The Reading Agency has partnered with children’s charity, the Youth Sport Trust.

An impressive line-up of ‘Champions’ to celebrate the Summer Reading Challenge’s sporting theme for 2023 are: comedian and children’s author Rosie Jones; TV presenter and author Radzi Chinyanganya; Gold-medal winning Olympian gymnast Beth Tweddle MBE; A&E doctor and TV personality Dr Alex George; Paralympic swimmer Ellie Robinson MBE and sports journalist Sam Squiers.

The Reading Agency and Blue Peter are searching for page-turners

The Reading Agency and Blue Peter are teaming up to ask publishers to submit great books for a new joint children’s reading initiative. The scheme aims to find titles which children won’t want to put down and introduce young readers to new writing that they may not have previously discovered.

Publishers are invited to suggest titles which were published between September 2021 and August 2023, and which are suitable for children aged between 5 and 11, including fiction, graphic novels, poetry and non-fiction. They’re seeking books which cover a range of interest areas and genres, from action and adventure to titles that will help children discover more about the world, be inspired, get creative and laugh.

They are particularly eager to connect young readers with books by authors and illustrators who are from underrepresented backgrounds so that children from a broad range of backgrounds can see themselves positively reflected. Submitted titles will then be put forward for shortlisting by an expert panel including librarians over the summer.

The joint initiative is open for submissions until Wednesday 5 July and publishers can find out more here.

Titles can be submitted via an online survey.

Karen Napier, CEO, The Reading Agency said: “The Reading Agency knows the impact that discovering a good book can have on children’s imaginations. We’re delighted to be working with our partners at Blue Peter to find new titles which spark a joy of reading in young people across the country and are looking forward to sharing more about the initiative later this year.”

Please contact [email protected] with questions about submitting titles.

Image credit: Blue Peter Presenter Joel Mawhinney, BBC

The Big Eurovision Read – The People’s Choice

This May, The Reading Agency, working in partnership with BBC Arts, were part of EuroFestival, joining in the Eurovision celebrations in Liverpool. Between 1-14 May, we hosted a Reading Den full of books from our Big Eurovision Read reading list outside Liverpool Central Library as an alternative space to engage with Eurovision.

We also went out to the public and asked you to tell us about other titles that have the power of music as a key theme. Below are a selection of some of the wonderful recommendations we had across the campaign.

Your Recommendations

Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Our most popular suggestion, Daisy Jones & The Six has taken the world by storm. A gripping novel about the whirlwind rise of an iconic 1970s rock group and their enigmatic lead singer, revealing the mystery behind their infamous break up. Now a popular TV series on Amazon Prime.

Mix Tape by Jane Sanderson

A grown-up love story, about Alison and Daniel and a love rekindled. Join them as they communicate across oceans and time zones, across a lifetime of different experiences until one of them breaks the rules and sends a message that will change everything.

The Storyteller by Dave Grohl

The man dubbed “the nicest man in rock” has certainly lived. From behind the drums with Nirvana to leading the Foo Fighters, jamming with Paul McCartney and Tom Petty, The Storyteller recounts his stellar career in his own words.

An Equal Music by Vikram Seth

A book about music and how the love of music can run like a passionate melody through life. A detailed novel of forbidden love between a violinist and married pianist who is slowly losing his hearing. Regarded as Vikram Seth’s masterpiece by many.

Night Music by Jojo Moyes

From the bestselling author of Me Before You, Night Music follows Isabel, a music who inherits a coveted Spanish House. As Moyes delves deep into ideas about obsession, music and passion, Isabel will be forced to discover an instinct for
survival she never knew she had.

Swing Time by Zadie Smith

Longlisted for the 2017 Booker Prize, Swing Time, from renowned author Zadie Smith, is a novel that crosses continents to look at the threads that bind us together as two friends move through their lives.

Music and Silence by Rose Tremain

In the year 1629, a young English lutenist arrives at the Danish Court to join King Christian IV’s Royal Orchestra. As he finds himself caught in a place where opposing states of light and dark are battling a war to the death, he falls in love with the Queen’s Danish servant. With his loyalties fatally divided between duty and passion, how can he find the path that will realise his hopes and save his soul?

This is Your Brain on Music by Daniel Levitin

Renowned neuroscientist Daniel J. Levitin explores the science behind how we react to music and why we are obsessed with it. Praised by scientists and musicians alike, this non-fiction title is as fascinating as it is important.

The Commitments by Roddy Doyle

Roddy Doyle’s much loved debut novel, The Commitments, follows a group of unemployed youngsters in the north side of Dublin as they attempt to make it as a soul band. The first title in Doyle’s The Barrytown trilogy.

Somewhere in the Crowd by Katrina Logan

What better way to celebrate the joy we witnessed at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest than by digging into Katrina Logan’s Somewhere in the Crowd. Follow four unlikely friends from across the globe as they reunite every year for Eurovision.

The Big Eurovision Read Titles

The Big Eurovision Read campaign was delivered in partnership with BBC Arts and The Reading Agency with support from public libraries and funding from Liverpool City Council’s Culture Liverpool team, as part of EuroFestival.

The Reading Agency

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