Beano-themed Mischief Makers Summer Reading Challenge launches

10 July 2018

Young readers are all geared up for a great summer with the launch of the free Summer Reading Challenge 2018 at libraries across Norfolk on Saturday 14 July.

This year’s Challenge is called Mischief Makers and is inspired by children’s favourite, The Beano, which is celebrating its 80th anniversary.

Children will explore a map of Beanotown to find the mysterious buried treasure and become ultimate mischief makers! Dennis, Gnasher and friends will help them solve clues and collect stickers, having lots of fun and adventures along the way.

Councillor Margaret Dewsbury, Chairman of Norfolk County Council’s Communities Committee, said: “Children’s reading often dips over the long holiday, so we’re pleased to be part of this national scheme to help keep children reading and enjoying books through the summer. Over 13,000 children from across Norfolk took part in last year’s Summer Reading Challenge and we’re hoping even more will join in this year.”

The annual event runs throughout the school summer holidays and offers children of all ages a fun and engaging way to keep up their interest in reading over the summer.

Under-fives can take part in the Mischief Makers mini challenge, aimed at encouraging younger children to become more familiar with books. Children can collect stickers for sharing stories at home and receive a certificate for completion.

5 to 11-year-olds can get involved with the Mischief Makers challenge. Children collect stickers as they read and complete the Beano-town map to find the treasure. All children completing six books will receive a certificate and a medal. This year, children can also challenge their grown-ups to read, to encourage the whole family to get involved and earn an extra Family Reading Challenge sticker.

Children aged 11+ can join the ImagiNation challenge. Participants choose two books to read over the summer, then write a review or draw a related picture on a 'belly band' to go around the book. Each young person completing the scheme will receive a certificate and be in with the chance to win £30 of book tokens.

Young people aged 13 to 24 can volunteer as a Summer Reading Challenge Champion to help younger children discover new authors and explore a wide range of different types of books. To find out more, email volunteercontact@norfolk.gov.uk or call 0344 800 8020. Volunteers over the age of 18 will be subject to a DBS check.

Libraries across the county will be hosting a range of Summer Reading Challenge activities, from storytellers to slime workshops; comic drawing and finding out about Norse mischief makers. For details about activities at your local library, visit the Summer Reading Challenge events page.

The libraries team are also working with the region’s hospital libraries to make the Summer Reading Challenge available to young patients and their families, who may otherwise be unable to take part.

Head of Norfolk County Council’s Library and Information Service, Jan Holden, said: “The Summer Reading Challenge is a hugely successful programme and this year’s theme, featuring well-loved characters from The Beano, is particularly engaging for children and adults alike. We’re especially pleased to be able to make the Challenge available to hospital libraries in the region, so as many children as possible can get involved.”

With the recent launch of Open Library, families now have even more opportunity to take part in the Summer Reading Challenge with extended opening hours at 30 libraries across the county.

Those who haven’t already registered for Open Library access can do this at their local branch. Children must be accompanied by an adult during Open Library hours. More information about Open Libraries.

The Summer Reading Challenge campaign is produced nationally by The Reading Agency and is being delivered by libraries across the country.

  • 13,005 children from across Norfolk took part in last year’s Summer Reading Challenge
  • In total, 761,758 children took part in the Summer Reading Challenge nationwide
  • 44% of participants were boys
  • Over 86,000 children signed up as new library members
  • 7,763 young volunteers aged 12 to 24 supported the challenge

The Reading Agency, funded by the Arts Council, runs the annual Summer Reading Challenge in partnership with the Society of Chief Librarians.  This national reading for pleasure programme is now in its 19th year.

Last year over three quarters of a million children across the UK took part by borrowing, reading and talking about their favourite books.  More information on the Summer Reading Challenge can be found on The Reading Agency website.

Children can find new books to read, win some great book prizes and share recommendations with other readers on The Reading Agency’s safe, child-friendly and moderated website, www.summerreadingchallenge.org.uk.

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