12 Oct 2018

Making mischief in Libraries Week

Just in time for National Libraries Week, the annual Summer Reading Challenge results are in.

Over the summer holidays, the Isle of Wight Council’s library service set a challenge to Island children: to read six books over the six week break.

The Summer Reading Challenge runs every year over the summer break and is aimed at keeping thousands of children reading over the long holiday. Since 14 July, children have been joining the Mischief Makers.

This year’s challenge celebrated 80 years of the much-loved comic Beano and invited children to explore a map of Beanotown to find a hidden treasure chest full of pranks, becoming ultimate mischief makers.
Despite the heat this summer, this year’s challenge saw an amazing 2,087 children sign up for Mischief Makers and ran in all eleven of the island's libraries, including volunteer-run libraries and the mobile library.

An amazing 1,477 children successfully reached the end of the challenge and received a medal and a certificate. This was a finishing rate of 71 per cent – up on the Island’s finishing rate last year of 65 per cent.

Many children read considerably more than six books. In total, an eye popping 30,080 children's books were borrowed from Isle of Wight libraries during the duration of the challenge.

Development librarian for young people and lifelong learning, Elspeth Jackson, said: "We are delighted that so many children became Mischief Makers this summer, despite the beautiful weather we had this year. The annual Summer Reading Challenge aims to help children keep up their reading skills over the long holiday.

“Well done to the Mischief Makers and if any children missed it this year, they can explore the delight of reading in Island libraries all year round – we stock a wide range of free to borrow books for all ages."

The children were surveyed at the end of the challenge and many were more confident readers as a result and many parents expressed surprise at their children’s keenness to read over the period.

“Mischief Makers has really encouraged my child to want to read over the holidays. She made a cosy reading den and asked us not to disturb her while she was reading!” (Parent of eight year old girl.)

“She really enjoyed the summer reading challenge. It made a great improvement in her reading and confidence.” (parent of girl, seven)

My son surprised myself by reading books he thought were too hard. A wonderful way to maintain reading skills between year groups. (parent of boy, six)

All children who earned a medal and certificate were invited to write a review or draw a picture of their favourite book of the summer. The best 12 entries were selected, and the winning children were recently invited to a prize-giving hosted at Lord Louis Library by Isle of Wight Council chairman, Councillor Lora Peacey-Wilcox and Cabinet member for environment and heritage, Councillor John Hobart.

Pictured: Councillor Lora Peacey-Wilcox with the winning children - well done to Carmen Menzies; Claudia; Cody Summers; David Howard; Edward Sun; Esme Cain; Lucy Archer; Milo Bagot; Mya; Nicholas Newson; Sadie Millard; and Toby Temple.

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Councillor Lora Peacey-Wilcox with the winning children
Councillor Lora Peacey-Wilcox with the winning children
  • The Summer Reading Challenge runs every year over the summer break.
Isle of Wight, UK