17 July 2017

“It’s fun, free and educational, and will entertain your child for hours – what more could you ask for during the school holidays?”

That’s the view from children’s librarian Alexis Filby who says the Summer Reading Challenge is a highlight of their year and a time when children’s book loans boom.

The challenge, called Animal Agents this year, asks children under 12 years old to read six library books during the school holidays. They are given stickers and rewards for each book they read, with a medal and certificate at the end.

Libraries across the city are taking part and running free events and activities throughout the school holidays. This includes launch days from Saturday 22 July and throughout the following week, with crafts and drama workshops.

Councillor Mary Lea, Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Parks, said: “I hope children from across the city sign up to this year’s Summer Reading Challenge, and enjoy reading six books and completing the challenge to get their medal.

“It’s a great way to encourage children to read and even better that it’s something free and fun to do in the school holidays, which can be an expensive time for families.

“Reading is brilliant for children. It opens up a world of possibilities and imagination, and helps them understand different perspectives. Sheffield’s libraries provide free access to books, groups and clubs across the city for children of all ages.”

The Summer Reading Challenge is run by Sheffield’s libraries in partnership with The Reading Agency, a national charity inspiring people to read. It is expecting three-quarters of a million children to embark on this year’s challenge.

Last year approximately 5,000 Sheffield children took part, which is more than in any other year, and we’re hoping for even more this year.

This year’s theme, Animal Agents, is illustrated by Tony Ross, the UK’s best-selling children’s illustrator, and will see kids reading to reveal clues to help them crack a case in the library.

Visit www.sheffield.gov.uk/libraries or call Central Children’s Library on 0114 273 4734 for more information about the Summer Reading Challenge and activities in Sheffield libraries.