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About the Summer Reading and Winter Mini Challenge

What is the Winter Mini Challenge?

The Winter Mini Challenge encourages children to keep up their reading habits over the winter holidays, with a free-to-access website featuring rewards and incentives for reading and reviewing books.

Over the school holidays children can experience a ‘dip’ in reading skills and learning, and due to the disruption to education caused by Covid-19, this year is set to have an even greater impact on learning loss.

This winter we are very excited to team up with award-winning inclusive publisher Knights Of  to run an Everyone Is A Hero themed Mini Challenge to celebrate heroes in all their forms and keep children reading this winter.

The Winter Mini Challenge starts on Tuesday 1 December 2020 and finishes on Friday 15 January 2021.

This year’s Mini Challenge features characters from books published by Knights Of, including those from Knights and Bikes (written by Gabrielle Kent; illustrated by Rex Crowle), High-Rise Mystery (written by Sharna Jackson; illustrated by Wumzum), and the Run series (written by Jason Reynolds; illustrated by Selom Sunu).

To take part, children simply read three or more books – these can be any books of their choice. Every time they finish a book, they add it to their Challenge website profile and leave a short book review.

Reaching their online reading goal will unlock a virtual badge and a special Everyone Is A Hero certificate to print off and keep!

Visit our Shop to download your free Winter Mini Challenge resources pack (also available in Welsh). The pack includes promotional posters, social media assets and a communications toolkit so you can start building the excitement amongst your young readers! It also includes a Winter Mini Challenge completer’s certificate, so you can prepare to join in the fun in your library, school, reading group, activity club, or at home. Check back again soon for a themed reading record and activity sheets.

You can keep up to date with all of The Reading Agency’s latest children’s activities and offers by following us on Facebook or following the hashtag #WMC2020.

What is the Summer Reading Challenge?

The Summer Reading Challenge, presented by The Reading Agency, is delivered in partnership with public libraries and funded by Arts Council England. The Challenge encourages children aged 4 to 11 to enjoy the benefits of reading for pleasure over the summer holidays, providing lots of fun as well as preventing the summer reading ‘dip’.

Each year the Challenge motivates over 700,000 children to keep reading to build their skills and confidence.

In 2020, the Summer Reading Challenge’s Silly Squad celebrated funny books, happiness and laughter. Children taking part in the Challenge joined the Silly Squad, an adventurous team of animals who love to have a laugh and get stuck into all sorts of funny books!

The 2020 Challenge featured bespoke artwork from award-winning children’s author and illustrator Laura Ellen Anderson (Amelia Fang; Evil Emperor Penguin; I Don’t Want Curly Hair).

With the disruption caused by Covid-19 and the impact of social distancing on schools and public libraries, the 2020 Challenge launched in a new digital format designed to keep children engaged and interested in reading. It supported parents and carers with children already at home, offered schools exciting ways to animate remote learning, and provided great content for those back in the classroom. Many wonderful partners are supported the Challenge this year to help us reach even more children than ever. The online Challenge ran from 5 June to 30 September.

The Summer Reading Challenge website is free to access and features games, quizzes and downloadable activities that incentivise and encourage children to take part in reading related activities. Although public library buildings were closed, libraries continued to deliver the Challenge through virtual services and e-lending platforms. Children taking part in the Challenge continued to access free reading materials from their local libraries, then kept track of their summer reading activity using this website.

Visit your local library website to find out how you can access eBooks, audiobooks, comics and magazines for free that you can use to complete the Challenge at home.
Take a look at our Find a Read section for further information on accessing reading materials at home.

With school life disrupted and many children missing the company of their friends, this year’s fun-filled Challenge was all the more vital as a way of helping parents and carers find fun, family-friendly activities, maintain literacy levels and create a safe space for children to connect with their peers.

Whilst we were excited about our digital Silly Squad Challenge, we know for many digital creates another divide. We understand that not all families will have access to the website, which is why we are worked hard with our partners including public libraries and publishers to ensure our Summer Reading Challenge physical materials got into the hands of children who needed them most. Participants could contact their local library service to find out more about their Summer Reading Challenge offer, including local start and finish dates, reward items, and themed events (please note that not all library services chose to take up physical materials).

If your child enjoyed taking part in the Summer Reading Challenge, and you can help us share the experience with even more children, please donate by clicking here .

If you would like to make a larger gift, legacy pledge or can support our fundraising in any way, please email

The Reading Agency receives 100% of your donation. Obtain bill payer’s permission.
Customer care 08448479800. Charity No 1085443.

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