Summer Reading Challenge

The Reading Agency and Libraries present Gadgeteers!

The Summer Reading Challenge is back for 2022!

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 2022.

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Sublime Science Party
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Sublime Science Party

Fri 29 Jul - Tue 16 Aug

Free science parties for children with Dragon's Den winner Sublime Science! More

'Let's dive down on a journey to the deep...' Meet the Oceans, book cover by Caryl Hart, illustrated by Bethan Woollvin.
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Come along and design a submarine with 'Meet The Oceans' author Caryl Hart More

How will the Challenge help my child?

The Summer Reading Challenge helps children maintain their reading skills by:

  • 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 2022?

The theme for this year's annual Summer Reading Challenge is 'Gadgeteers'. The Reading Agency is partnering with Science Museum Group to inspire children across the country to feed their imagination over the summer holiday, with a reading challenge focused on science and innovation.

The aim of the theme is to spark children's curiosity about the world around them. With resources and activities from the Science Museum Group, the Challenge focuses on inspiring children to see the science and innovation behind everyday objects, showing that reading and science are for everyone. The Challenge and the accompanying book collection will show that imagination can unlock endless possibilities, and the library is where this starts.

Through taking part in the Challenge, with free packs from public libraries or on the children's website, children will be able to join six fictional 'Gadgeteers' who use their curiosity and wonder to understand the science behind a whole range of interests from fashion and technology to cooking and music. The characters and artwork have been created by children's writer and illustrator Julian Beresford.

Susan Raikes, Director of Learning at the Science Museum Group, said:

"Reading has such an important role to play in igniting young people's curiosity about the world around them. The Summer Reading Challenge this year provides a fantastic opportunity to reveal the science, engineering and innovation all around us. At the Science Museum Group, we are delighted that our partnership with The Reading Agency will allow us to reach more future creative thinkers and inspire them with the everyday wonders of imagination and discovery.

How does it work?

  • The Challenge is to read 6 books
  • It starts on Sat 9 Jul and finishes on Sat 3 Sep
  • Every child who joins will get a free Gadgeteers 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 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.
  • Older children are welcome to join in too!

How do children register for the Challenge?

It’s free to join the Challenge and children can join and get their free Gadgeteers poster at any library in Derby from Sat 9 Jul.

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?

Alongside the challenge Alvaston, Mickleover, Normanton and Riverside libraries will be hosting some fantastic events for children and families.

Come join us for Science Parties with Sublime Science. Expect magic tricks, bouncing bubbles, fizzing potions, plus the chance to make your own sweets and slime!

Stories and craft with author Caryl Hart, get ready to explore her book Meet the Oceans, learn the Jellyfish Jiggle and design an eco-warrior’s submarine!

All events are FREE and will take place in Derby libraries - booking is essential, please book by calling the number of the library you wish to attend. Children must be accompanied by a responsible adult.