Libraries across the UK are getting ready to introduce children to new worlds of facts and fiction through Animal Agents, the 2017 Summer Reading Challenge ™, run by independent charity The Reading Agency, whose pioneering work brings the joy of reading to the widest possible audiences across the UK, in partnership with the public library service. The charity’s mission is to create and deliver innovative reading opportunities that inspire more people to read more, encourage them to share their enjoyment of reading with others and celebrate the difference that reading makes to all our lives. The Reading Agency is funded by the Arts Council.
Across the school summer holidays, Animal Agents will introduce young readers to a variety of clever creatures, specially trained to use their skills and natural instincts to unravel mysteries. Animal Agents is illustrated by Tony Ross, illustrator of the hugely popular Horrid Henry series. He is published all over the world; his awards and nominations include the Roald Dahl Funny Prize, Kate Greenaway Medal, and the Smarties Prize.
Each year the Summer Reading Challenge to children is simple. They’re encouraged to read six or more books of their choice – fact books, joke books, picture books, audio books just as long as they are borrowed from the library – during the holidays. There are collectable incentives and rewards, plus a certificate for every child who completes the Challenge. Children can sign up at their local library from the end of June onwards and all materials are absolutely free. (NB: exact start dates for the Summer Reading Challenge can vary around the UK, as do schools‘ breaking up-dates for the summer holidays: please check with your local library.)
The Summer Reading Challenge is open to all primary school 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.
Here’s how you can get involved:
- Head to your local library during the summer holidays and enrol. It’s completely free and any child can take part.
- Children can chat, get reading recommendations and enter competitions all year round on the Summer Reading Challenge website.
- If you’re a teacher, online resources to help you support children’s reading for pleasure can be found at: Resources | Reading Agency
- Teachers, parents and children can also gain Animal Agents-related reading inspiration from the Summer Reading Challenge 2017 book collection. It comprises 70 must-have reads for children aged 4-11, with something to suit every young reader. Many of the books in the collection are new titles which will be published this summer, and will be displayed in libraries during the Challenge. There are two lists – one for younger children and one for older children – representing the best in contemporary children’s fiction, fact and puzzle books, poetry, picture books and graphic novels.
Anne Sarrag, Summer Reading Challenge director for The Reading Agency, says: “Animal Agents is all free fun, which is top news for parents. So mums, dads and carers, pop down to your local library and find out more about what’s happening locally, and help your children discover a love of stories this summer whilst they maintain and develop their reading skills over the summer holidays. ”
Once again this year, children’s publishers are supporting the Summer Reading Challenge, and there are also large print Summer Reading Challenge materials available for visually impaired children, or visually impaired parents/carers, thanks to the support of the RNIB National Library Service. In Scotland the Challenge runs as Tesco Bank Summer Reading Challenge Scotland.
For more information about the Summer Reading Challenge, please visit: summerreadingchallenge.org.uk/
Keywords: Free kids activities, summer holidays, reading, learning, children’s books, kids days out, children’s stories