We're over the moon to announce the release of the book collection for the Summer Reading Challenge 2019, Space Chase.
Inspired by the 50th anniversary of the moon landing, Space Chase will take young readers on an out-of-this-world adventure with our super space family, The Rockets. The Challenge touches down in libraries across the UK this summer and features bespoke artwork from top children's illustrator Adam Stower.
The Summer Reading Challenge book collection comprises 71 must-have reads for children aged 4-11. Every title in the collection has been specially chosen by children and librarians to reflect key Space Chase themes including exploration, endeavour, imagination, creativity and friendship.
There are two lists - one for younger children and one for more confident readers - representing the best in contemporary children's fiction, poetry, non-fiction, picture books and graphic novels. Many of the books in the collection are new titles which will be published in 2019, and will be available to borrow in libraries during the Challenge.
The younger list (ages 4-7)
This year the younger list features a fantastic assortment of books from 28 different publishers.
Titles include the delightful Hat Tricks by Satoshi Kitamura; the heart-warming Two Sides by Polly Ho-Yen and Binny Talib; and There's An Alien in Your Book, the new interactive tale from Tom Fletcher and Greg Abbott. Also appearing on the younger list are upcoming releases from picture book favourites Karl Newson and Kate Hindley - The Same But Different Too - and Jeanne Willis and John Hare, with Field Trip to the Moon.
The list includes plenty of early reader titles to help participants hone their reading skills, including Eoin Colfer and Katy Halford's Mariella, Queen of the Skies from dyslexia-friendly publisher Barrington Stoke, and the latest adventures of Shifty McGifty and Slippery Sam from Tracey Corderoy and Steven Lenton. Farmer Falgu goes Kite-Flying by Chitra Soundar and Kanika Nair will transport young readers to a festival in India, while poetry fans will enjoy exploring new worlds with collections including Me and My Alien Friend by Ed Boxall, and Zim-Zam-Zoom by James Carter and Nicola Colton. There's plenty to entertain fact-finders too, with non-fiction titles including Professor Astro Cat's Space Rockets by Dr Dominic Walliman and Ben Newman, and Ian Graham's Curious Questions & Answers About...The Solar System, illustrated by Barbara Bakos.
Have a look at the full list here.
The older list (ages 8-11)
The older list includes a variety of brilliant books from 24 publishers.
Titles include the hilarious Planet Omar: Accidental Trouble Magnet by Zanib Mian and Nasaya Mafaridik; the inspirational Lightning Mary by Anthea Simmons; and Darren Simpson's striking debut novel, Scavengers. Older participants will be mesmerised by new reads including Snowglobe by Amy Wilson; The Last Zoo by Sam Gayton; and The Boy Who Flew by Fleur Hitchcock. There's plenty of non-fiction fun to enjoy too, including the return of a beloved bookworm in Matilda's How to Be A Genius; Odd Science: Spectacular Space from author/illustrator James Olstein; and A-maze-ing Natural Phenomena by Eryl Nash and Sarah Dennis, the perfect pick for puzzle fans.
Readers of graphic novels will enjoy The Adventures of John Blake by Philip Pullman and Fred Fordham, and Mega Robo Revenge, the thrilling third instalment in the Mega Robo Bros series. Intrepid explorers can join the Thirteenth Doctor to uncover The Secret in Vault 13 by David Solomons, and step aboard The Train to Impossible Places, by debut author P.G. Bell and illustrator Flavia Sorrentino. Knights and Bikes by Gabrielle Kent and Rex Crowle will whisk young readers away on an adventure like no other, and tech whizzes will adore Level Up, a new release from Tom Nicoll with illustrations by Anjan Sarkar.
Have a look at the full list here.
Selecting the books
Publishers from all over the UK sent us nearly 400 books, manuscripts, and top secret early proofs to consider for the 2019 collection. With help from librarians from across the country, industry experts, and children from Yerbury Primary School, we narrowed the submissions down to just 71 titles.
There will also be a collection of titles aimed at the thousands of teenagers and young adults who volunteer in their local libraries to support the Summer Reading Challenge. The 2019 Top 10 Volunteer Reads list will be available to view in early February.
Libraries can order the Space Chase book collection via their usual library supplier.
Summer Reading Challenge coordinators can find more information on our library practitioner page.
Visit the Summer Reading Challenge website for competitions, book recommendations and activities all year round.