Join Thousands of Children in the Big Friendly Read this Summer at Hampshire LibrariesHampshire County Council’s libraries are encouraging children to sign up to this year’s Summer Reading Challenge, the Big Friendly Read.

Run by the Reading Agency, the Summer Reading Challenge invites children aged 4 to 11 to read any six library books from 16 July to 18 September at their own pace. Last summer, 16,000 children completed the challenge in Hampshire – let’s see if we can beat this figure this year.

Hampshire County Council’s Executive Member for Culture, Recreation and Countryside, Councillor Andrew Gibson, said: “The summer holidays are a great time for children to maintain and even improve their reading ability with great initiatives like the Summer Reading Challenge.

“This year’s theme is the Big Friendly Read, in tribute of well-loved British author Roald Dahl’s story The BFG (Big Friendly Giant), and also marks 100 years since Dahl was born. The Summer Reading Challenge harnesses the creativity and sense of adventure found in children’s books by inspiring young people to read any library book for fun and enjoyment.

“We wish all the best to the children taking part, and look forward to seeing them at the ‘finish line’ in September.”

The Summer Reading Challenge has reading lists for 4 to 7 year olds, and for 8 to 11 year olds, which are already online. The lists are purely suggestive, and are a great starting point, with books including Good Dog Lion by Alexander McCall Smith; The Bolds by Julian Clary and David Roberts, and The Great Chocoplot by Chris Callaghan.

There are also lots of rewards up for grabs as the challenge progresses, including cards for each book read, and a medal and certificate given to each child who finishes the challenge. The webpage contains all the information on how to sign up at your local library, as well as videos from children on the books they have been enjoying recently.

Hampshire Libraries has a lot of different volunteering opportunities so if you want to get involved in supporting your local library and have a few hours spare this summer, you can become a Summer Reading Challenge volunteer.

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