Summer Reading Challenge

The Reading Agency and Libraries present Wild World Heroes

The Summer Reading Challenge is the UK library sector’s biggest free annual reading event. It is produced by The Reading Agency and delivered by libraries; thousands of children and families take part each year.

The Summer Reading Challenge aims to help children of all reading abilities maintain their reading skills over the long summer break from school. This is because evidence shows that children's reading skills can decline if they don’t have regular access to books and encouragement to read for pleasure which can be a real problem for schools to correct.

All libraries in Derby, including those which are community managed, will be running the Summer Reading Challenge throughout the summer holidays in 2021.

How will the Challenge help my child?

  • encouraging reading for pleasure; this is one of the most important contributory factors in a child’s reading ability
  • offering them a wide range of stories and fact books to read.  This has a positive impact on a child’s reading ability, range and motivation
  • boosting their confidence with reading which leads to a more positive attitude towards reading and learning
  • significantly increasing your child’s life chances.  Evidence shows that children who enjoy reading are likely to score highly on reading assessments and those who use libraries are twice as likely to be above average readers

'The Summer Reading Challenge gets three quarters of a million children into libraries to keep up their reading skills and confidence during the long holidays ……because everything changes when we read.' - The Reading Agency 

What’s the theme for 2021?

The theme is Wild World Heroes.  This year’s Challenge is a celebration of reading, nature and action for the environment. Developed in partnership with World Wildlife Fund (WWF), the world's leading independent conservation organisation, Wild World Heroes will inspire children to stand up for the future of our planet.  The storyline is:

  • Pack your bags, we’re headed for Wilderville.  It’s a pretty cool place, but there are lots of things that the Wild World Heroes can do to make their town even better for the people and animals that live there and they need your help.  Join in the fun, meet the Wild World Heroes – you could even become one too!  

How does it work?

  • The Challenge is to read 6 books 
  • It starts on Saturday 10 July and finishes on Saturday 4 September
  • Every child who joins will get a free Wild World Heroes poster which they use to keep track of their progress and rate the books they’ve read
  • There are stickers to collect and two other incentives  -  a paper game and a fridge magnet - depending on progress 
  • Children who complete the Challenge will get a certificate 
  • There's an extra challenge if children want it - they can read a further four books
  • There are more reading ideas and fun themed activities will be available on the Summer Reading Challenge website

Who can take part?

  • Library Members. Children must be a member of the library to take part.  If they aren’t already members, they can join and that’s free too.  Find out more about how to join the library or ask library staff 
  • Children aged from 4 to 11 years.  However, there are special age-appropriate preschool materials for younger siblings to take part as well. Also, older children won’t be turned away.

How do children register for the challenge?

It’s free to join the Challenge. Children can:

  • Register and get their free Wild World Heroes poster at any library in Derby from Saturday 10 July.  
  • Join online, collect digital rewards and get a downloadable completer’s certificate. See the Wild World Heroes website for details
  • Do both

What books can children read?

  • They can read any books they like - fact books, stories, joke books, picture books, audiobooks and eBooks - just as long as they are borrowed from the library. 
  • For younger children and those learning to read, it’s fine to read or share library books with a parent or carer. 

What events can children attend?

There are seven online videos happening that are free and available to any child in Derby. 

These events are supplied by Authors Abroad, are suitable for the age range, and are all linked to the  Summer Reading Challenge theme of animals, nature, and the environment.  All the authors, poets, and entertainers have designed their presentations to be fun and informative and to inspire children to stand up for the future of the planet.   

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