What Is The Summer Reading Challenge?
Libraries are great places for children to discover reading for pleasure and there is no better time to do this than during the long summer.
The Summer Reading Challenge takes place every year during the summer holidays. You can sign up at your local library, then read six library books of your choice to complete the Challenge. There are exclusive rewards to collect along the way, and it’s FREE to take part! It is designed for children aged 4—11 and last year, over three quarters of a million children took part in libraries across the UK.
Every year the Challenge has a new theme. This year’s Summer Reading Challenge is called Mischief Makers, inspired by the much-loved iconic children’s title Beano, which celebrates its 80th anniversary.
The Summer Reading Challenge website helps you keep track of your reading all year round: find new books to read, take part in competitions and play games. Visit https://summerreadingchallenge.org.uk/ to find out more or have a look at the video below.
You can also visit The Reading Agency’s website at https://readingagency.org.uk/resources/ where you’ll find a range of fun activities for children to get involved in, a wealth of information about the benefits of reading and the Summer Reading Challenge 2018.
You can also download the parents guide to Mischief Makers:
Taking Part In The Summer Reading Challenge
The Summer Reading Challenge is aimed at children aged four to eleven. It is run in almost all libraries in the UK and it is completely free.
- Go to your local library during the summer holidays – the sooner you go the longer you’ll have to read six books. Staff will register your child for the Challenge and give them some fun materials to get them started.
- Most libraries in England and Wales will start the Challenge on Saturday 14 July 2018.
- There is no official end date for the Challenge as each library authority will set their own finish date. Please check with your local library to find out when the Challenge will finish in your area.
This Year’s Theme—Mischief Makers
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!
The Mischief Book Collection is made up of two collections, which together represent the best in contemporary children’s fiction, poetry, non-fiction, picture books and graphic novels.
The Younger Collection (ages 4-7)
A wide array of books feature in the younger collection, from across 25 different children’s publishers. Titles include the wildly imaginative Are We There Yet? by Dan Santat, the hilarious Don’t Leap, Larry! by John Briggs and Nicola Slater, and Mr Penguin and the Lost Treasure from the ever-popular Alex T. Smith. Also included are upcoming titles from favourites Jonny Duddle – Pirates of Scurvy Sands – and Lucy Rowland and Kate Hindley – The Knight Who Said “No!”
The younger collection includes plenty of early reader titles for those developing their reading skills, such as Michael Rosen and Nicola O’Byrne’s Dread Cat from dyslexia-friendly publisher Barrington Stoke, and the latest adventures from The Invincibles and Wigglesbottom Primary. The Girl with a Brave Heart by Rita Jahanforuz and Vali Mintzi introduces young readers to a tale from Tehran, while fans of Philip Ardagh will enjoy Barking Up the Wrong Tree: Stick and Fetch Investigate, illustrated by Elissa Elwick. Remember 10 with Explorer Ben by author Catherine Veitch and illustrator Duncan Beedie is the perfect book for puzzle-solvers, and young scientists will relish Al’s Awesome Science: Egg-speriments! by Jane Clarke and James Brown, from independent publisher Five Quills.
Also included are plenty of picture books for the youngest Mischief Makers, including This Zoo is Not for You by Ross Collins; The Bad Bunnies’ Magic Show from Mini Grey; and the charming Edward and the Great Discovery by Rebecca McRitchie and Celeste Hulme.
The Older Collection (ages 8-11)
The older collection includes a great mix of books, including new titles from favourites Steven Butler and Steven Lenton – The Nothing to See Here Hotel – and M.G. Leonard – Battle of the Beetles. Fans of poetry will enjoy the captivating Overheard in a Tower Block by Joseph Coelho and Kate Milner, as well as the laugh-out-loud funny Aunt Grizelda’s Treasury of Grim and Grisly Rhymes, from Anna Best and Natallia Pavaliayeva.
Readers of non-fiction will love Real Life Mysteries by Susan Martineau and Vicky Barker, and Dion Leonard’s heart-warming true-life tale Finding Gobi. The list also features new fiction books from Jennifer Killick – Alex Sparrow and the Furry Fury – and Ross Welford, author of The 1,000 Year Old Boy, guaranteeing plenty of reading adventures for Mischief Makers this summer.
Older readers will enjoy titles including The House with Chicken Legs by Sophie Anderson; The Extraordinary Colours of Auden Dare by Zillah Bethell; and Boy 87 by Ele Fountain. And naturally, the collection wouldn’t be complete without an epic Beano adventure in the form of Dennis and the Chamber of Mischief, by the brilliant Nigel Auchterlounie.
Volunteering For The Summer Reading Challenge 2018
Volunteering in your local library is a brilliantly rewarding experience and a great way to share your love of books. You’ll have the opportunity to gain new skills and work experience for your CV, and you’ll have fun helping children to read more at the same time. All volunteers become part of the Reading Hacks programme. To find out more information about this, please visit The Reading Agency’s website at https://readingagency.org.uk/young-people/004-get-involved/readinghack-project/. You’ll find some useful videos plus a toolkit for ‘hackers’.
Have a look at the video below and find out what other young people have said about their volunteering experiences.
What Will I Be Doing As a Volunteer?
There are loads of different ways to help with the Challenge. Some of the things volunteers do include:
- Helping staff to run the Challenge
- Talking to children about the books they’ve been reading
- Creating exciting library displays
- Planning and running activities or craft sessions
- Planning and running celebration events for other volunteers
What Will I Get Out Of The Experience?
- valuable work experience
- a reference for employment
- new friends
- the opportunity to develop confidence, social skills, employment opportunities and literacy skills
- the chance to make a positive contribution to your community
How Do I Know If It’s For Me?
Here are just a few of the things that Reading Hackers have said about their volunteer experiences:
“I have felt much more involved in the local community. I am meeting more people and helping to organise the kind of event I wouldn’t know was happening two years ago. I feel I am part of something greater.”
“The more you do, the more confident you become.”
“The skills I’ve learnt could probably be put towards a job in the future”
“I struggle with anxiety so doing the volunteer program was going to be hard, but being a volunteer has helped me overcome my fears.”
“Doing this will help me when I go to college next year, as I want to work with children.”
“This is my fifth year volunteering and I love every second.”
How Can I Get Involved?
The Summer Reading Challenge runs in most libraries, so just drop in to the one you want to volunteer in and ask if they have any opportunities for you to get involved this summer. Libraries start to recruit for the challenge from March, but some may have opportunities year round.
Alternatively, speak to Mr. Jacob in our English & Media Studies Faculty.
Join the Summer Volunteering 2018 hack to record your skills and volunteering hours and share what you’re doing with other young people across the UK.