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.
The theme for the 2017 Summer Reading Challenge is Animal Agents, illustrated by the UK's best-selling children's illustrator Tony Ross.
This summer there's something peculiar happening at the local library - and that's where the Animal Agents come in!
From solving the case of the graffiti writing to the strange case of a missing lunch, children will join in the fun with the Animal Agents by reading along. As children read library books on the Summer Reading Challenge, they will receive a host of stickers, some with mysterious smells. By collecting these clues in their detective folder, young readers will help the Animal Agents find out what's really been going on behind the scenes!
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.
You can find out more about your local library here, including opening hours, where to find it and any special events happening there.
Parents and carers love the challenge, not only is it free but they can see the difference the Summer Reading Challenge makes to their children’s reading.
Mason, from Stockport, wrote: “I loved the stickers and the chart and the funny characters.”
What’s more, teachers can often tell which children have taken part; research shows that children who take part in the Challenge return to school after the summer break as more fluent, confident and happy readers.
“This is a fantastic initiative. We do this every year.” Parent, Southend-on-Sea
For busy parents, getting back into the habit of using the library as a family throughout the year can be triggered by taking part:
“The Challenge meant that trips to the library became part of our planned summer holiday together as a family.” Parent, Oban, Scotland
On days you can’t get to the library, there is still the Summer Reading Challenge website, with so much for children to discover and they can keep a record of their Challenge too. Children can also recommend books and decide what to read next using the Book Sorter.
Here are some ideas to help your child finish the Challenge.
- Visit the library as often as you can. There are all kinds of events going on, and children soon get caught up in the fun
- Read yourself! Don’t feel guilty about sitting down with a book, newspaper or magazine. It sets a good example to kids – and they will copy you!
- Let children choose their own books. If they don’t like a book, just move on to the next one, or ask one of the library staff to recommend a read
- Children don’t just have to read stories or novels. Fact books, audio books, poetry – they all count!