We're thrilled to share the book collection for Silly Squad, the Summer Reading Challenge 2020!
The Summer Reading Challenge 2020 will be a celebration of funny books, happiness and laughter. Children will join the Silly Squad, a crew of fun-loving animals who enjoy exploring lots of different types of funny books. Step inside their colourful fun house for a side-splitting adventure celebrating the joy of reading - just watch out for a mysterious baddy who is up to no good!
Silly Squad will arrive in libraries across the UK this summer and will feature bespoke artwork from award-winning author and illustrator Laura Ellen Anderson.
The Silly Squad book collection comprises 68 must-have reads for children aged 4-11, providing a wealth of inspiration for young readers choosing books for this summer's Challenge and beyond. Every title in the collection has been specially picked by children, librarians and industry experts to reflect the funny theme, with plenty of choices and genres to entertain readers at all stages.
There are two lists - one for younger children and one for more confident readers - representing the best in contemporary children's fiction, non-fiction, picture books and graphic novels. Many of the books in the collection are brand new titles which will be published in 2020.
The younger list (ages 4-7)
Titles on the list for younger and emergent readers include the brilliant Show and Tell by Rob Biddulph; the heart-warming Keith Among the Pigeons by Katie Brosnan; and the hilarious I am a Tiger by Karl Newson and Ross Collins. There are also recent releases from Philip Ardagh and Ben Mantle, with Bunnies on the Bus by , and from Cece Bell, with comic Chick and Brain: Smell My Foot. Upcoming picture books include Bad Cat! by Nicola O'Byrne; Nine Lives Newton by Alice McKinley; and You Can't Call an Elephant in an Emergency by Patricia Cleveland-Peck and David Tazzyman.
The list includes plenty of early reader titles to help participants develop their skills and confidence over the summer. They include a new Billy and the Mini Monsters title, Monsters Go to School, from Zanna Davidson and Melanie Williamson, as well as The Great Pants Robbery by Heather Pindar and Serena Lombardo. Young readers will enjoy riddles and tales from the Middle East in Riding a Donkey Backwards, retold by Sean Taylor and Khayaal Theatre with illustrations by Shirin Adl; there are also plenty of giggles to be had with The Funniest Animal Joke Book Ever, by Joe King and Nigel Baines.
The younger list also features The Break-Time Bunnies, a new entry in the laugh-out-loud funny Wigglesbottom Primary series from Pamela Butchart and Becka Moor, as well as a new edition of Pippi Longstocking and the Snirkle Hunt, perfect for celebrating Pippi's 75th anniversary this year.
Have a look at the full list here
The older list (ages 8-11)
New fiction titles on the older list for more confident readers include Double Dose Detectives: The Cure for a Crime by Roopa Farooki; Fire Boy by J.M. Joseph; and The Worst Class in the World by Joanna Nadin with illustrations by Rikin Parekh. Fans of comics and graphic novels will love Akissi: Tales of Mischief, by Marguerite Abouet and Mathieu Sapin; Jamie Smart's Looshkin: The Big Number 2; and the highly illustrated Super Happy Magic Forest and the Humongous Fungus by Matty Long.
Classic stories are given a new twist in Aunt Grizelda's Fairy Tales of the Unexpected by Anna Best and Natallia Pavaliayeva, while Clive Gifford and Michael Young combine laughter and learning in A Quick History of Maths: From Counting Cavemen to Big Data. Non-fiction fans will also love Martin Brown's Lesser Spotted Animals 2 and On Your Marks, Get Set, Gold! by Scott Allen and Antoine Corbineau, arriving right on time for this summer's Olympic Games.
Children selected recent titles by several Summer Reading Challenge favourites for the collection, including Adam Stower, with King Coo: The Curse of the Mummy's Gold; Philip Reeve and Sarah McIntyre, with Kevin's Great Escape; and 2020 illustrator Laura Ellen Anderson, with Amelia Fang and the Lost Yeti Treasures. The older list also includes Toad Attack! by Patrice Lawrence and Becka Moor, and Laura Norder: Sheriff of Butts Canyon, by Guy Bass and Steve May, both from dyslexia-friendly publisher Barrington Stoke.
Have a look at the full list here
Selecting the books
Publishers from all over the UK sent us over 400 finished books, manuscripts, and top secret early proofs to consider for the 2020 collection. With help from librarians from across the country, industry experts, and children from Hugh Myddleton Primary School, we narrowed the submissions down to just 68 titles.
There will also be a collection of titles aimed at the 7,000+ teenagers and young adults who volunteer in their local libraries to support the Summer Reading Challenge. The 2020 Top 10 Volunteer Reads list will be available to view in March 2020.
Libraries can order the Silly Squad Book Collection via their usual library supplier.
Find out more about the impact of the Summer Reading Challenge with our latest case studies.
Visit the Summer Reading Challenge website for competitions, book recommendations and activities all year round.
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