Summer Reading Challenge will see children turn detective

Children are being encouraged to turn detective and sign up to this year's Summer Reading challenge at their local library.

The Animal Agents Summer Reading Challenge asks 4-11 year olds to borrow and read any six library books during the summer holidays, collecting incentives and rewards along the way.

And it’s a  fun, free way of keeping children occupied during the school holidays, which is top news for parents !

Those who complete the challenge will be presented with a certificate and a medal at a special ceremony in their local library at the beginning of the new term.

This year’s theme is Animal Agents, based on a detective agency staffed by all kinds of clever animals – furry, scaly and slippery – who are out to crack a case at the library with a little help from their friends.

To take part in Animal Agents, all children need to do is to head to their local library where they will be given a collector folder to keep a record of their reading journey.  As children read at least six library books over the summer, they collect stickers which will help them crack the clues and help the Animal Agents find out what's really been going on behind the scenes!

There is to be  a whole programme of fantastic family  events and activities planned at Northumberland libraries  over the summer to celebrate the Summer Reading Challenge. These include animal handling sessions with ‘Creatures Up Close’, lots of fun, games and activities with organisations including ‘Dogs Trust’, Cats Protection’ and Blue Cross for Pets.  Cramlington Library is excited to be welcoming Northumbria Police Dogs - so you can go  along and meet a real life dog detective!  There will also be  ‘Animal Agent Crafty Fun’ sessions at many libraries.

For a full list of events, including  dates, venues  go to: and search ‘Northumberland Libraries’ . You can also book your  free ticket from this website.  

Northumberland County Councillor,  Cath Homer, Cabinet member  for Culture, Arts, Tourism and Leisure said: “Reading is a vital life skill,    yet it is a skill that can take second place to the  excitement  of  computers, television and electronic games.

“ It is one of our aims through the challenge to prove that books can be  exciting too
and introduce children to one of the best free resources for their minds that they
have on their doorsteps – the local library.”

Over 2,000 children across Northumberland took part in last year’s Summer Reading Challenge in libraries and it is hoped  that even more children visit their local library to join ‘Animal Agents’ this Summer.

Children's reading can 'dip' during the long summer holidays if they don’t have regular access to books and encouragement to read for pleasure. This can be a problem for schools to put right in the new term, and The Reading Agency’s annual Summer Reading Challenge really helps by getting children into libraries over the summer. There is no other free reading activity that involves so many children, introduces families to their library, encourages children to choose books freely and independently and is endorsed by parents, teachers and the Department for Education.

Sue Wilkinson, CEO, of The Reading Agency, a leading national charity inspiring people of all ages and backgrounds to read for pleasure and wellbeing said:

“At The Reading Agency, we believe that everything changes when we read and we know from our research how much fun families and children have when taking part in the Challenge. This year we hope the wonderful characters created for us by Tony Ross will inspire more children than ever to take part and make use of their local library throughout the summer and beyond."

For further details about ‘Animal Agents’ or our Summer events, please visit our website, follow Northumberland Libraries on Facebook & Twitter or contact us on: 01670 620250.

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