The Summer Reading Challenge encourages children aged 4 to 11 to read six library books during the long summer holiday.
Children's reading can 'dip' during the summer holidays if they don't have regular access to books and encouragement to read for pleasure. 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.
How it works
There is a different theme each year. Children can read whatever they like - fiction, 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.
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.
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.
"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.