Summer Reading Challenge 2013

You may have heard on the news recently that Frank Lampard has been announced as the  2013 Summer Reading Challenge champion. Many parents will be familiar with the Summer Reading Challenge, which launches this year on July 13th in England and Wales (and earlier in Scotland). The scheme aims to encourage children to keep reading during the long summer holidays  by helping to get “three quarters of a million children into libraries to keep up their reading skills and confidence, encouraging children aged 4 to 11 to read six books during the long summer holiday.”

The children are encouraged to borrow any books they like and each time they complete a stage of the scheme they receive rewards and a certificate at the end of the challenge.  Last year at our local library, they rigged up an Olympic-style awards podium where children could stand to be presented with their certificate, whilst music was played. It was a great idea and the children loved it but I think the music must’ve been ringing in the poor librarians’ ears by the end of August!

The scheme has a different theme each year and this year it’s Creepy House, with illustrations by Kate Greenaway medal-winning illustrator and writer Chris Riddell. Chris is well known for collaborating with Paul Stewart on The Edge Chronicles and is also a political cartoonist for The Observer. According to the scheme’s organisers, Creepy House was chosen as a theme  because it appeals to a wide range of ages and isn’t gender specific. Scary tales can thrill rather than terrify young readers and it give a lot of scope to libraries to create creepy visual displays and set up local events inspired by history and folklore. 

With all these scary antics on offer at your local library, hopefully those all-too familiar sighs of “I’m bored” won’t be echoing round homes across the country this summer.

To find out exactly when your local Summer Reading Challenge will begin, please contact your local library. You can visit the Summer Reading Challenge’s Facebook page and head to their YouTube to watch a trailer.

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