The Summer Reading Challenge
The Summer Reading Challenge is designed for children between the ages of 4 and 11.
The theme for the 2017 Summer Reading Challenge was Animal Agents, illustrated by the UK's best-selling children's illustrator Tony Ross.
The Summer Reading Challenge 2018 will be called Mischief Makers, inspired by the much-loved iconic children's title Beano, which celebrates its 80th anniversary.
Children will explore a map of Beanotown to find the mysterious buried treasure and become ultimate mischief makers! Dennis, Gnasher and friends will help them solve clues and collect stickers, having lots of fun and adventures along the way!
Most libraries in England and Wales will start the Summer Reading Challenge on Saturday 14 July.
Most libraries in Scotland will start the Challenge on Saturday 23 June.
Regional variations will apply, so do check with your local library service to find out when the Challenge will begin in your area.
The Reading Agency does not set an official end date for the Summer Reading Challenge. Each library authority is responsible for choosing and publicising their own finish date for their Challenge.
How does the Summer Reading Challenge work?
How do schools benefit?
By getting involved in the Summer Reading Challenge, your school can:
- Enhance and support its reading initiatives and involve parents and the wider community.
- Celebrate the joy of reading whist ensuring all children are able to read well by the age of 11 - see The Power of Reading Report
- Continue to support pupils' learning during the holidays
- Help to prevent the trend for children's reading skills to dip over the holidays. (UKLA Impact Research Report - full report see the summary).
- Ensure your pupils return in the autumn term ready for a great start to the new academic year
How do schools get involved?
- Invite your local library staff into school to talk about the Summer Reading Challenge. Many will deliver the special assembly presentation for you.
- Inspire your pupils to participate, using our children's website, posters and activity sheets (resources available from Easter 2018)
- Inform parents and support those who might find it harder to take part or engage with library services, using our family leaflets (resources available from Easter 2018)
- Celebrate the achievements of pupils who participate in the Challenge when they return to school.
It's free, local and inclusive
- The Summer Reading Challenge is inclusive of all children and families and all stages of reading development.
- Children read six or more books of their choice: fiction, non-fiction, joke books, picture books; any books they like, as long as they are borrowed from the library.
- There is also a mini-challenge for pre-school children so that the whole family can take part.
- Family information leaflets are available in a range of community languages and many items are available in large print.
- Libraries stock accessible texts, audio books, dual - language books, picture books and graphic novels.
Find out more about the impact of the Summer Reading Challenge with the 2017 UK Participation report and Family Survey report
Parents and supporters of the Summer Reading Challenge can get more information and news about the Challenge and our children's work on our Facebook page.
Children can chat, get reading recommendations and enter competitions on our Summer Reading Challenge website
If you would like more information about the Summer Reading Challenge please get in touch.
We also co-ordinate a national network of reading groups for children called Chatterbooks.
These run throughout the year and are mostly based in local libraries and schools.
Find out more about the resources and training available for you to set up your own children's reading group.
If you would like more information about Chatterbooks please contact Kathleen Ktorides