Starting on the 13th July, the annual Summer Reading Challenge will be back in full swing, running across all 44 of Suffolk’s libraries as well as the weekly Suffolk Libraries Local sessions in Shotley and Rushmere.

Children aged 4-11 are invited to sign up at their local library to read six library books of their choice and upon completion, receive a certificate at a special presentation in the autumn.

This year’s Summer Reading Challenge will have the theme of Space Chase, an out-of-this-world adventure inspired by the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing. The Summer Reading Challenge celebrates its 20th anniversary this year and is the country’s biggest literacy campaign, celebrating a different theme each year.

Children taking part in the Challenge will get a chance to meet the super space family, The Rockets, for a thrilling mission to track down books nabbed by mischievous aliens. Space Chase will feature bespoke artwork from top children’s illustrator, Adam Stower, and will celebrate adventure, exploration, reading and fun.

Bruce Leeke, CEO of Suffolk Libraries, said:

“The Summer Reading Challenge is a brilliant way of engaging children in the world of storytelling. Those taking on the challenge develop their literacy skills while having fun over the summer holidays. Reading for pleasure from an early age is proven to have a lifelong impact on both wellbeing and social confidence. Parents and their children also have the opportunity of share something new and exciting together.”

The challenge takes place every year during the summer holidays and helps get three quarters of a million children into libraries across the country. The campaign is produced by the Reading Agency and delivered by libraries across the country.

According to Reading Agency research, children developing reading habits in their spare time can have multiple long-term benefits to their development. It improves literacy and is more important to a child’s academic success than socio-economic status or the level of their parent’s education. Studies have found that those who read for pleasure have higher levels of empathy, greater self-esteem and are better to cope with difficult situations.

In Suffolk Libraries in 2018:

Over 7,400 children took part in the county’s libraries, reading nearly 78,000 books.

Over 2,000 children registered for their first library card.

Suffolk Libraries is already on the lookout for volunteers who might like to help support the reading challenge during the summer holidays. Volunteering opportunities are available to ages 12 and up and will involve talking to the public about their books and signing them up to the scheme.

Summer Reading Challenge

To receive regular updates about the Challenge, Suffolk Libraries have created a regular e-mail newsletter for book suggestions, reminders about the challenge and the chance to win a Lego Lunar Space Station.

For more information on the Summer Reading Challenge, visit the Suffolk Libraries website.