7,000 and counting… summer reading is out of this world

This story was published 9 August 2019

More than 7,000 children in North Yorkshire have so far signed up for Space Chase, this year’s library Summer Reading Challenge.

Josh and Ben join the Space Chase at Harrogate

But space is big, so there is plenty of room for more to join what promises to be an out-of-this-world adventure inspired by the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing.

To take part in Space Chase, children need only to sign up at their nearest library, where they will be given a collector’s folder in which to keep a record of their reading journey.

This year, libraries have extended the scheme to include all children aged up to 11 years. They are invited to borrow six library books over the summer. As they read (or are read to by parents or carers) they will team up with futuristic family the Rockets for an exciting space mission. Books are vanishing off library shelves and the Rocket family has been tasked with getting them back.

Participating children can read whatever they like – fiction, factual books, joke books, picture books, audio books or e-books – as long as these are borrowed from the library. Along the way, they will collect stickers, bookmarks, a space-themed snakes and ladders game and an alien window clinger. Certificates and medals are awarded to children who complete the challenge.

Pop into your library to sign up. Space Chase will be orbiting North Yorkshire libraries until Saturday, 7 September.

County Councillor Greg White, Executive Member for Libraries, said: “It’s very encouraging to see more than 7,000 children sign up during the first couple of weeks of the challenge, but our libraries would love to welcome more on board. We’re particularly keen to welcome pre-schoolers to instill the reading habit early. Celebrating space exploration is topical, so I’m sure more young readers will want to hop on board this exciting adventure. This year marks 20 years of libraries and the Reading Agency working together to keep children reading throughout the summer.”