Summer Reading Challenge

Summer Reading Challenge

A photo of two young children making a tower out of books.

What is the Summer Reading Challenge?

1 in 4 children cannot read well by the age of 11. This hugely limits their life choices and skills. We’re on a mission to change this.  

The Summer Reading Challenge encourages children to keep reading during the summer holidays, ensuring they are ready for a great start to the new term in the autumn. Children set a reading goal and collect rewards for reading anything they enjoy. Children can sign up at their local library or online, and it’s FREE to take part.

This year’s Challenge is called Marvellous Makers and it’s all about creativity! From dance to drawing, junk modelling to music, there’s something for everyone. This year’s theme has been developed in partnership with a leading arts charity, Create.  

The Challenge starts on Saturday 22 June in Scotland and online, and on Saturday 6 July in England and Wales. 

Who is it for?

The Summer Reading Challenge is aimed at children from 4-11 years old. It supports this age group and their families by:  

  • Preparing children to get back to the classroom in the autumn.  
  • Supporting the move into a new year group or key stage.  
  • Boosting children’s confidence and self-esteem by supporting independent reading. 
  • Providing free access to books and fun family activities during the summer.
Photo of young girl kicking a football on a football pitch while wearing school uniform. There are other school children behind her.

The Summer Reading Challenge is the UK’s biggest reading for pleasure programme for children, and helps get approximately 700,000 children into libraries each year.

In 2023, 75% of children who took part said they now enjoy reading more.

Graphic with stack of books

During the 2023 Challenge, over 14 million books, including eBooks and audio titles, were read and issued through libraries

Four icons of people. One of them is white, while the other three are navy.

1 in 4 children don’t reach the expected level of reading by the age of 11


A photo of two children taking out some books from the library.

Get Involved

In the library 

Visit your local library and sign up. Your child will set a reading goal, choose anything they like to read, and collect special stickers and rewards for their reading. Libraries offer lots of free activities and events throughout the summer.

Online 

Sign up on the official Challenge website to take part online. Children can set a reading goal and get tips for accessing books for free at home. As they read books, they’ll unlock digital rewards, including a printable certificate.  

Email us to find out how your library could deliver the Summer Reading Challenge. 


Volunteering

Help us spread the joy of reading! Contact your local library directly to ask about opportunities to support with this year’s Challenge.

Volunteers at the library can get involved with things like delivering activities for children and families, handing out prizes, and talking to children about their reading.

Please note opportunities and dates vary between libraries.

Are you working towards your DofE Award?

Good news: we’re a DofE Approved Activity Provider, so your Summer Reading Challenge volunteering counts towards the volunteering section of your Duke of Edinburgh’s Award!

Graphic with Duke of Edinburgh logo and text: Approved Activity Provider

Resources

Book Discussion Prompts: Marvellous Makers

These book discussion prompts can be used to help children talk about their Summer Reading Challenge books with library staff, volunteers, teachers or at home.…

The Reading Agency

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