Children's reading can 'dip' during the long summer holidays. The annual Summer Reading Challenge helps get three quarters of a million children into libraries each year to keep up their reading skills and confidence. Because everything changes when we read.
The Summer Reading Challenge encourages children aged 4 to 11 to read six books during the long summer holiday.
There is a different theme each year. Children can read whatever they like - fact books, joke books, picture books, audio books - just as long as they are borrowed from the library.
Children receive special rewards each time they finish a book and there's a certificate for everyone who completes the Challenge.
The Summer Reading Challenge is open to all primary school aged children and is designed for all reading abilities. Schools work with local libraries and give out information to encourage children to take part, and most libraries run Summer Reading Challenge linked early years activity for pre-schoolers.
The theme for the 2017 Summer Reading Challenge was Animal Agents, illustrated by the UK's best-selling children's illustrator Tony Ross.
A total of 761,758 children across the UK took part in Animal Agents at their local library, an increase of 6,550 from 2016.
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.
The RNIB National Library Service makes a selection of Summer Reading Challenge books available in accessible formats (Braille, Audio and Giant Print) for children who are visually impaired, or have visually impaired parents/carers. This material can also help children with learning disabilities and dyslexia.
In Scotland the Challenge runs as Tesco Bank Summer Reading Challenge Scotland. We're very grateful to Tesco Bank for our partnership with them on the programme since 2011 as part of their community programme. Their support has led to a 30% increase in participation in Scottish libraries over the last three years.
See how the Summer Reading Challenge 2017 unfolded in libraries across the UK with the Animal Agents Storify
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"The Summer Reading Challenge is about reading for the pleasure of reading. Stories are important because they nourish us and broaden our thinking. Librarians and all those involved in the huge success of the 2017 Summer Reading Challenge know how important this is and seek to change lives one book at a time."
"The Summer Reading Challenge is a wonderful initiative - what could be better than getting our children into libraries? I can't recommend it highly enough. My son has always been a listener but now he's also a reader."
"I find the Summer Reading Challenge really fun - my brother and I see it as a challenge and we work against each other to see who could read the six books the fastest."
Summer Reading Challenge facts
Research shows that taking part in the Summer Reading Challenge can help children keep up their reading skills during the long summer holiday
Reading for pleasure is more important to children’s successes than education or social class. The Summer Reading Challenge gets three quarters of a million children into libraries to keep up their reading skills and confidence during the long holidays while Chatterbooks reading groups help build a lifelong reading habit. Because everything changes when we read.