Children and Libraries

Summer Reading Challenge

Children with books for Summer Reading Challenge

Space Chase: the Summer Reading Challenge 2019

Space Chase, the Summer Reading Challenge 2019, will be starting in all Isle of Wight Libraries on Saturday 13 July. Inspired by the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing, it promises to be an out-of-the-world adventure! In this year's challenge, children will help our super space family track down books nabbed by mischievous aliens! As they read library books, they will solve clues and collect special stickers to complete their mission folder. Can they find the aliens in time to save the day?

The challenge will be running in all island libraries, including the mobile library and libraries run by volunteers. It's free to join. Children can join at any point over the summer, with the challenge finishing on Saturday 7 September. There will be exciting rewards along the way, and children who read 6 books - any six books - will get a medal and a certificate.

New for 2019 is a special Space Chase mini-challenge for children under 3, so little brothers and sisters can take part in their very own Space Chase adventure alongside their older siblings. Like the main challenge, the mini-challenge starts on July 13, and is free to join.


Photo © Dave Warren 2019 for The Reading Agency with thanks to Pancras Square Library

About the Summer Reading Challenge

The Summer Reading Challenge is an annual challenge that aims to keep children enthusiastically reading during the summer holidays. Children are challenged to read books during the holidays, and receive stickers and prizes along the way, culminating in a medal and a certificate when they have read six books. Any book counts - fiction or non-fiction, easy or hard, new author or old favourite - as long as they're borrowed from the library.

The challenge is designed for children aged between 4 and 11 years, but older and younger children can take part, if they wish. However, the prizes are unsuitable for under threes, due to small parts, so children under 3 who want to take part will be enrolled in a special pre-school mini-challenge instead. The challenge is free to join.

The Benefits of the Summer Reading Challenge

Children often return to school in September with their reading and learning levels lower than they were in July. Research has shown that children who take part in the Summer Reading Challenge are far less likely to suffer from this "summer dip."

A key principle of the Summer Reading Challenge is that children are free to choose their own books, rather than being pressurised to read books that are not to their taste. Parents often report that this makes a huge difference to their child's enthusiasm for reading - and enthusiastic readers are good readers.

"My son has always seen reading as a chore," one parent commented, "but thanks to this challenge, he's finally started to enjoy books, and his reading has come on in leaps and bounds." (Isle of Wight parent, August 2016)

Getting Involved

We are on the look out for volunteers aged 14 to 25 to become Summer Reading Challenge Champions during the summer holidays. Summer Reading Challenge Champions will help promote the challenge to children, and will chat to children about their reading, hand out rewards and assist with children's displays and events.

Application Process - Volunteers

  • To apply to volunteer download and complete the application form (PDF, 592KB, 2 pages).
  • Complete the form and hand the form into any library.
  • For further information contact us by email.