Image credit: Welsh Books Council/Tall & Short Photography
- 699,076 children took part in Mischief Makers, across 96% of all authorities in England, Wales and Scotland
- This includes 671,002 children aged 4-11 and 28,074 pre-school participants who took part in the Mini Challenge (pre-school participants increased 3.2% from last year)
- 45% of participants were boys, up 1% from last year, and there was a 2% increase in boys completing the Challenge from last year
- 6,790 young Reading Hack volunteers supported the Challenge in 2018
23 November 2018: This year's Summer Reading Challenge, Mischief Makers saw almost seven hundred thousand children get reading across the summer in across the UK. A total of 699,076 children took part in Mischief Makers, at their local library. This is a slight drop on last year's figures (8.2%) and we are working with our library partners to understand more about what caused this, and what we need to do to ensure the Challenge remains a popular, successful programme for many years to come.
Research shows that only 1 in 4 boys read outside of school every day. This year's Summer Reading Challenge participant report shows that 45% of Mischief Makers were boys.
Internationally 4,500 children also took part through the British Council and armed forces. Libraries ran 18,768 Mischief Makers-themed events during the Summer Reading Challenge, and 83,419 children joined the library as new members.
All the feedback we have had from participants, parents and carers testifies to the power that participation has on building an enjoyment of reading among children - which is why we and our library partners want to make sure that the challenge can continue to thrive and grow.
Sue Wilkinson, Chief Executive of The Reading Agency says:
"The Summer Reading Challenge remains incredibly popular and is still an effective programme: 98% of library services who participated this year intend to take part again next year. We will work closely with the library sector to understand the reasons behind this year's drop in participation and to develop the Challenge accordingly. We need to ensure that mechanisms are in place to enable libraries and their partners to continue to reach children with the Summer Reading Challenge, especially those who would benefit most from taking part."
What parents said about the Challenge
The Summer Reading Challenge generates a tremendous amount of enthusiasm each year from families and librarians, and this year was no different. We have received wonderful feedback from the parents who participated in our family survey:
"One of the most heartening things is that the Challenge has been an excellent way to motivate my son to keep up with his reading and writing the reviews was good for handwriting. He is dyslexic so it is important we don't let his skills slip over the summer holidays. He has been very motivated and we will use the library regularly from now on. I also intend to join too." Parent of 4-7 year old boy, Birmingham
Many people also said that as a result of the Challenge, their child's attitudes to reading has changed and in some cases there has been a visible improvement in their reading ability. 65% felt that their child felt more confident about reading after the Challenge.
"It has taught my son that reading is about enjoying books not just having to learn how to read", Parent of 4-7 year old boy, Kent.
What's the theme for next year's Summer Reading Challenge?
In 2019 the theme for the Summer Reading Challenge will be "Space Chase" to coincide with the 50th Anniversary of the Moon landings. We hope the theme will have intergenerational appeal and will encourage parents to read with their children. The guest illustrator is Adam Stower, and children in libraries helped selected Adam from a shortlist of illustrators in 2017.
Find out about this year's Winter Mini Challenge and head to the shop to take part!
Next year we will also be celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Summer Reading Challenge, so watch this space!