Experiment with new reading for summer challenge at libraries

This story was published 1 July 2022

Young readers are being invited to discover the science and innovation behind the world around them in this year’s Summer Reading Challenge.

Two young children holding a reading challenge sign in a library

North Yorkshire libraries and the Reading Agency are running the challenge, which this year takes the theme Gadgeteers, for children aged four to 11, encouraging them to read six library books over the summer holiday. The challenge aims to show children that science is all around them.

To take part, children need to sign up at their nearest library, where they will receive a colourful fold-out poster showing the setting for this year’s challenge – an imaginary community centre where the Gadgeteers are planning a summer party.

As they read their chosen books, children will receive stickers – some that are actually scratch and sniff – that they can use to help the Gadgeteers come up with inventions for the party. There are other free incentives to collect along the way, and everyone who completes the challenge will receive a medal and a certificate.

Executive member for libraries, Cllr Greg White, said: “Signing children up to the Summer Reading Challenge is a great way for parents and carers to help them to maintain their reading levels. The Gadgeteers theme is a wonderful way of helping children see the importance of science in our everyday lives.”

Children can choose from a vast range of books at the library or download them as e-books from the online catalogue. There are many new books about science and inventions, but readers can choose any six library books to count towards the challenge.

A programme of events for families will support the challenge, including junk modelling, Lego sessions, science workshops, art and craft sessions, storytelling and theatre performances. More details are available in libraries, on library Facebook pages and via schools.

Karen Napier, the CEO of the Reading Agency, said: “We are really delighted to be partnering with Science Museum Group for this year’s Summer Reading Challenge. We know through our broader work with children and the STEM programme that reading and science go hand in hand. We are sure that the Gadgeteers theme will inspire the creativity of children up and down the country to use their innovation and imagination.”

The challenge begins on Saturday 16 July, and runs until Saturday 10 September. Find out more about the summer reading challenge.