Summer Reading Challenge

The Summer Reading Challenge is a nationwide initiative run by the charity, The Reading Agency, which takes place during the school summer holidays.

The challenge encourages children to read at least six books that they own or have borrowed from their library over the holidays. Every summer there’s a new theme - for 2018 it's Making Mischief, inspired by the characters from the classic comic, The Beano.

How to get involved

You can enrol your child on the Summer Reading Challenge at your local library, where there are likely to be activities for pre-school younger siblings too. Your child can create a profile on the Summer Reading Challenge website to keep track of all the books they’re reading.

To get you in the Making Mischief mood, here are some of our favourite titles on this year’s Summer Reading Challenge list:

Age 4 to 7

Are We There Yet? Are We There Yet?
by Dan Santat

Everyone knows that car rides can be boring. And when things get boring, time slows down. In this book, a boy feels time slowing down so much that it starts going backward - into the time of pirates! Of princesses! Of dinosaurs! The boy was just trying to get to his grandmother's birthday party, but instead he's traveling through Ancient Egypt and rubbing shoulders with Ben Franklin. When time flies, who knows where - or when -he'll end up…

Don’t Leap, Larry! Don’t Leap, Larry!
by John Briggs

Lemmings look alike, sound alike and act alike. So if one jumps off a cliff, the others follow… All except Larry – he’s a lemming with a mind of his own. Unlike the rest of his crew, he goes sledging with the puffins, eats pepperoni pizza, and likes to wear a top hat. But can Larry teach his fellow lemmings to finally think for themselves?

A wonderfully funny, quirky tale about staying true to yourself.

The Knight Who Said No! The Knight Who Said No!
by Lucy Rowland

Ned the knight always does exactly what he's told. When his parents ask him to pick up his toys, dig up the cabbages or go to bed on time, he does it all with a smile. And when the dragon swoops into town every night, he always runs inside just as he's asked. But one morning, instead of saying, “yes," he says, "NO!" He will not help his dad find his shield, his arrow or his bow, and he will certainly not let the butcher go past. That night, he refuses to go inside, and in doing so he confronts the dragon, making a very unlikely friend…

The Girl With a Brave Heart: A Tale From Tehran The Girl With a Brave Heart: A Tale From Tehran
An adaptation of the Grimm’s fairy tale reset in Tehran, Iran – Shiraz shows kindness to a strange old woman and receives the gift of beauty, but her lazy and unkind stepsister Nargues, suffers a less pleasant fate…

Age 8 to 11

The Nothing to See Here Hotel The Nothing to See Here Hotel
by Steven Butler

When a goblin messenger arrives at The Nothing to See Here Hotel, announcing the imminent arrival of the goblin prince Grogbah, Frankie and his family rush into action to get ready for their important guest. But it soon becomes obvious that the Banister family are going to have their work cut out with the demanding prince and his never-ending entourage, especially when it turns out the rude little prince is hiding a secret...

The House with Chicken Legs The House with Chicken Legsl
by Sophie Anderson

Marinka dreams of a normal life, where her house stays in one place long enough for her to make friends. But her house has chicken legs and moves on without warning.

Marinka's grandmother is Baba Yaga, who guides spirits between this world and the next. Marinka longs to change her destiny and sets out to break free from her grandmother's footsteps, but her house has other ideas...

Alex Sparrow and the Furry Furry Alex Sparrow and the Furry Furry
by Jennifer Killick

Catching the school's runaway guinea pigs is not giving Alex job satisfaction, but how can he find a bigger test for his and Jess's awkward superpowers? Jess is more worried about the bullied new boy, whose Mum runs the animal sanctuary. She volunteers at the sanctuary, but soon realises that something is very wrong; the animals are terrified. People report strange events: things missing, property destroyed, and the local squirrels have turned mean. The police have no suspects.

It looks more and more like a job for Agent Alex...

Battle of the Beetles Battle of the Beetles
by M.G. Leonard

Darkus and his friends continue their unforgettable adventure in this final instalment of the Beetle trilogy. Arch-villainess Lucretia Cutter has a secret Biome hidden in the Amazon rainforest: can Darkus and his friends, human and beetle alike, find it before it's too late? If they can't stop Lucretia, she will release her hoard of giant Frankenstein beetles, and the planet will never be the same again...

It looks more and more like a job for Agent Alex...

Visit for more suggestions and to take the test and find your ideal book!

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