The Summer Reading Challenge goes wild!

Fri 9 Jul 2021

Derby Libraries’ Summer Reading Challenge gets under way this weekend. Over the next eight weeks children can explore books and reading, and let their imaginations run wild!

This year’s theme is Wild World Heroes, a celebration of reading, nature and action for the environment. Developed in partnership with World Wildlife Fund, it will inspire children to stand up for the future of our planet, while discovering some great books.

The challenge is to read six books. As they make progress, young readers will meet the six Wild World Heroes and help them take care of the fictional land of Wilderville, tackling real world environmental issues.

Children must be a member of the library to take part, and joining is free and easy if they’re not already a member – just ask at one of our libraries. Find out more in our Libraries section.

Derby Libraries are also delighted to bring a collection of online stories, poems, and workshops to children and families all linked to the Summer Reading Challenge theme. The videos have been created by Authors Abroad, an organisation of well-respected children’s authors, illustrators, and poets. Find out more and watch them here until Sat 4 Sep!

It’s free to join the Challenge. Children can register at any library in Derby from Sat 10 Jul, or join online on the Summer Reading Challenge website to collect digital rewards and download a certificate at the end. You can even do both.

Every child who joins in the library will get a free Wild World Heroes poster to keep track of their progress and rate the books they’ve read. There are stickers to collect along the way, and a certificate at the end. Keen readers who complete an extra four books will receive a fridge magnet.

The Summer Reading Challenge runs right through the Summer until Sat 4 Sep – so lots of time to get reading! Although it’s aimed mainly at children aged from 4 to 11, there will also be things for pre-school siblings to do too, and older children are welcome to join in.

Any book counts towards the challenge – stories, factual books, joke books, picture books, audiobooks or e-books. It’s fine for younger children and those learning to read to share library books with a parent or carer.

Councillor Ross McCristal, Cabinet Member for Leisure, Culture and Tourism, said:

“There is nothing like losing yourself in a good story, or finding out some amazing facts and figures to impress your parents or teachers. The Summer Reading Challenge is UK library sector’s biggest annual free reading event and we’re pleased to make it happen in Derby.

“For children, it’s all about letting your imagination run wild. For parents and carers, it’s the reassurance that their children will be keeping up their reading skills and confidence during the long summer holidays. Evidence shows that children who enjoy reading are more likely to score highly on reading assessments, and those who use libraries are twice as likely to be above average readers.”

More reading ideas and fun themed activities are available on the Summer Reading Challenge website. The Summer Reading Challenge is produced by The Reading Agency and delivered by libraries. All libraries in Derby, including those which are community managed, are running the challenge.


Orangutan Illustration with Karin Littlewood 

Join children’s author and illustrator Karin Littlewood for a brilliant workshop and create your own drawings of an orangutan family. Perfect for children aged 4 – 7.

Nature stories with John Row

Join storyteller John Row as he retells some amazing stories all about nature and wildlife. Great for readers aged 7 and above.

Fairy tales with a twist by Gracie May

Join storyteller Gracie May as she retells a classic fairy tale - with an environmental twist! Meet the three billy goats gruff, naughty little goats who don’t recycle their rubbish! Lively and engaging, great films for a younger audience, aged 4 and above.

‘B is for Blobfish’ with Kev Payne

Join children’s author Kev Payne and explore his book ‘B is for Blobfish’ which is packed with a fascinating A – Z of animal facts! Brilliant for younger readers age 4 to 7.

Writing the Wild with Chris Vick

Join Chris Vick, nature lover, surfer, whale and dolphin conservationist and learn all about ‘writing the wild’. Perfect for children and young people aged 7 - 11.

Environmental story time with Claire Culliford

Join Claire Culliford as she reads from her environment themed ‘Little Helper’ books and meet a range of animal characters with creative solutions to some of the challenges facing our planet. Lovely stories for children aged 4 – 7.

Eco-Poetry Workshop with Phil Wilcox

Join poet Phil Wilcox for a brilliant workshop all about eco-poems: poems about nature, climate change, and how we feel about the world around us. Prefect for budding writers and poets aged 8 and above.

These videos have been created by Authors Abroad, an organisation of well-respected children’s authors, illustrators, and poets. 

The 2021 Summer Reading Challenge