Teaching Resources

The Summer Reading Challenge


by Richard Whiteley
on July 15, 2016

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Everything changes when we read

The Summer holiday is approaching. Teachers, parents and children are faced with the irony that after three terms of almost daily encouragement to read, books are now being recalled for cataloguing. For the first time in the year, school bags will no longer contain the next Reading Scheme, school shelf or school library book.

To fill this void for primary school age children, libraries all over the country are preparing for this year’s Summer Reading Challenge. The Challenge, organised by the Reading Agency, has run for nearly a decade. Last year it inspired over three quarters of a million children to take part. It runs throughout the Summer holiday.

This year’s theme is The Big Friendly Read and marks the centenary of the birth of Roald Dahl. The challenge is for the children to read six books, fiction or non-fiction, over three separate visits to their local library.

On enrolling the children are given a fact sheet and collector card. Fun rewards are then given after each visit. On completion of the challenge the children receive a medal and certificate.

Although the theme is Roald Dahl, children are free to choose and read any book, fiction or non-fiction. This challenge can go a long way in encouraging children to seek variety in their reading choice, developing their literacy skills, as well as providing a new environment for them to discover the joy of books.

One of the parting gifts teachers can give their pupils is a nudge in the direction of their local library and this year’s Summer Reading Challenge, because everything changes when we read.


To find out more visit the Summer Reading Challenge 2016 website.


Richard Whiteley is a retired Head Teacher from Harrogate, UK. He now champions the nation’s libraries.

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