Sheffield Libraries are calling for children to sign up to read six books this summer as part of Space Chase, Summer Reading Challenge 2019, which launches on Saturday 13th July and runs for the whole of the summer holidays.

Inspired by the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing, The Summer Reading Challenge asks 4 -11 year olds to borrow and read any six library books over the summer. To take part in Space Chase, which is free, all children need to do is sign up at their nearest library, where they will be given a collector folder to keep a record of their Summer Reading Challenge journey.

There will be a special Mini Challenge for pre-school children too. Children will team up with futuristic family The Rockets for an exciting space mission as they track down books nabbed by a mischievous band of aliens. As children read library books for the Summer Reading Challenge, they will receive special stickers, some with mysterious smells. By adding these stickers to their collectable mission folders, young readers will help The Rockets solve clues, dodge asteroids and discover the missing books, having lots of fun and adventures along the way.

Children with Children’s University Passports will also be able to collect credits to add to their passports (one credit per book read towards the Summer Reading Challenge) and further credits for any of the organised activities that they attend in a library during the summer holidays. For more about Children’s University passports visit https://www.sheffield.gov.uk/cu

Last year, The Summer Reading Challenge, a unique partnership between The Reading Agency and public libraries across the UK got over 699,000 children borrowing, reading and talking about their favourite books and over 4,109 of those were children from Sheffield.  A further 4,900 children got involved via the British Council and Armed Forces.

Young volunteers across the city have been recruited again this year to help staff promote the Summer Reading Challenge in our libraries.  Their duties will include signing children up to the challenge, helping and advising them on choosing books towards their challenge and assisting at events and activities.

Councillor Mary Lea, Cabinet Member for Culture, Parks and Leisure said: “We hope that lots of children get involved in the Space Chase Summer Reading Challenge again this year and that they get their whole family involved in having fun reading. It’s easy (and free) to join the challenge at your local library.

There’s a whole programme of events and activities planned at Sheffield Libraries for families over the summer to celebrate the Summer Reading Challenge, including drama, storytelling, maker spaces and craft activities. Contact your local library or go to https://www.sheffield.gov.uk/home/libraries-archives/events-children-families to find out more.

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

Notes to editors

  • 11 Council Hub libraries, the Central Library and 16 volunteer libraries across the city are all running the Sheffield Reading Challenge this year.
  • The Reading Agency is the leading charity inspiring people of all ages and all backgrounds to read for pleasure and empowerment. Working with our partners, our aim is to make reading accessible to everyone. The Reading Agency is funded by the Arts Council.  www.readingagency.org.uk
  • Libraries Connected is a membership organisation, representing heads of library services in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. We take a leading role in the development of public libraries through advocating for the power of libraries, sharing best practice and leading the debate on the future of the public library service. www.librariesconnected.org.uk
  • The Welsh Books Council and the Welsh Government support the Summer Reading Challenge, so that materials are available bilingually.