6,5,4,3,2,1… read

aRASRC19_027© Dave Warren 2019 for The Reading Agency, with thanks to Pancras Square Library

Library Development Officer Christine Thompson invites Wanstead’s children to take part in a space-themed reading challenge this summer and read six library books over the holidays.

The Reading Agency’s annual Summer Reading Challenge is aimed at children aged four to 12 years and helps get almost three quarters of a million children into libraries to boost their reading skills and confidence.

Children’s reading can ‘dip’ during the summer holidays if they don’t have regular access to books and encouragement to pick them up.

In 2019, children across the UK will be able to take part in this year’s Summer Reading Challenge, entitled Space Chase, an out-of-this-world adventure inspired by the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing. It is also the 20th anniversary of the annual reading challenge itself. Children taking part will join our super space family, the Rockets, for a thrilling mission to track down books nabbed by mischievous aliens. There will be loads of fun, loads of prizes and, of course, a medal for each child who completes the challenge. Visit the new Eat It exhibition by Redbridge Museum to gain an extra sticker.

This year’s theme will feature bespoke artwork from top children’s illustrator Adam Stower, and will celebrate adventure, exploration, reading and fun. Taking part is easy. The aim of the challenge is for children to read any six library books of their own choice during the summer holiday. Children can read whatever they like – fiction, fact books, poetry, joke books, picture books, audio books or even eBooks – just as long as they are borrowed from the library. The scheme promises to encourage reading that is out of this world.

A number of events will be taking place at Wanstead Library alongside the challenge, including alien slime-making, space lab detectives, professional storytelling from John Kirk and snack attack, a healthy eating event. This year there will also be a junior book reviewer competition for seven- to 10-year-olds taking place in partnership with Thy English Academy. Pick up your review sheet at the library.

Younger children who are not yet reading can earn stickers and a certificate of their own for visiting the library and borrowing books throughout the summer.

Library staff, with the support of teenage and adult volunteers, will be on hand to listen to children read and to help them discover new authors and explore a wide range of different types of books.

Summer Reading Challenge 2019 runs from 13 July to 7 September. Participants can sign up anytime (free). For more information, visit wnstd.com/src19

To apply to be a Summer Reading Challenge volunteer, visit wnstd.com/vol