This website hosts the annual Summer Reading Challenge and Winter Mini Challenge reading for pleasure programmes, run by national charity The Reading Agency.
The website is free to access and provides a place for children to rate and review the books they are reading as they progress towards their reading goals.
Children can use the website all year round to keep track of the books they’re reading, find book recommendations, and take part in fun book themed activities and competitions from our publisher partners.
Here you can find information about using this website at home, and links to useful family resources.
Why is reading for pleasure important?
- Currently, 1 in 5 children in England cannot read well by the age of 11. We know that reading for fun improves literacy.
- Reading for pleasure is more important to children’s academic success than their parents’ level of education or socio-economic status.
- Embedding a love of reading in children can help their wellbeing later in life. 19% of adult readers say that reading stops them feeling lonely.
- Studies have found that those who read for pleasure have higher levels of empathy, greater self-esteem and are better able to cope with difficult situations.
The Summer Reading Challenge and Winter Mini Challenge offer children and families a fun framework for reading for pleasure and celebrating reading together.
Explore more reading facts here
The Summer Reading Challenge 2021
The Summer Reading Challenge, presented by The Reading Agency and funded by Arts Council England, encourages children aged 4 to 11 to set themselves a reading challenge to help prevent the summer reading ‘dip’.
Each year the Summer Reading Challenge has a different theme. For 2021, The Reading Agency is partnering with WWF for Wild World Heroes, a nature-themed Challenge that will inspire children to engage with environmental issues. Find out more about Wild World Heroes here.
Get excited about this year’s Challenge with your very own poster, available to download here!
To take part in the Challenge as a family, use our Family Favourites Pack to record all the books your read over the summer and spark conversations around reading.
The Challenge launched in libraries in Scotland on Saturday 19 June and in libraries in England and Wales on Saturday 10 July. You can also take part in the digital Challenge here on the Wild World Heroes website.
Take the Family Survey!
We would love to hear what you thought of this year’s Summer Reading Challenge – Wild World Heroes. Your feedback is really valuable to us and helps shape next year’s Challenge.
Take the survey here to share your thoughts!
Getting started on the Challenge website
If your child already has a website profile, they can sign in using the Login option at the top of this page.
Website profiles are accessible all year round, so any books that have been rated and reviewed, and any badges that have been unlocked in previous Challenges are always available.
New users can sign up for a website profile using the ‘Join’ button at the top of this page or clicking here. Children will need a parent or carer to help them sign up.
The Wild World Heroes digital Challenge will start in late June, with new online badges and rewards to collect.
Signing up to the Challenge website
If you are under the age of 16, you will need a parent or carer to help you sign up for a website account.
Your parent or carer will need to create their own adult account first, then they can set up a child account for you.
This is so your parent or carer can look after your personal information and give us their permission for you to have an account.
Creating a website account for the first time
1. Select the Join button at the top of this page to get started.
2. Enter your date of birth and select Continue. Please ensure you enter your own date of birth at this stage, not your child’s.
3. Complete the ‘Create a new profile’ page with your own details and select ‘Create profile’ to submit.
4. Once you are signed in to your (adult) account, select the ‘+Add a new child’ button.
5. Complete the ‘Add a child profile’ page using your child’s details, then select the ‘Create new profile’ button when you’re ready to submit.
You can repeat Step 5 to create new accounts for more children. Please make sure you use unique Username and Password details for each child account you create. You can manage your child’s account details – including usernames and passwords – through the ‘Children’ tab on your profile.
Website screen names
Children can choose their own username and password when completing the registration form. These details will allow them to sign in to their profile each time they visit.
As an extra layer of security, each user is also given a screen name to use on the website.
The screen name will be shown each time a user logs in. The screen name helps protect the identity of children who may enter their real name as their username. Book reviews and Chat page messages will always appear under a screen name to help keep everyone safe online.
How we use your information
The email address we collect when a new profile is created is never passed on to third parties other than third party partners in the provision of the services in question or with explicit consent. We use this email address to enable users who have forgotten log in details to access the site again. For children who enter a competition, we will use it to let them know if they have won a prize.
The Book Sorter provides reading recommendations based on books other children have enjoyed. All the books have been recommended, rated and reviewed by children using this website. We ask children to submit a date of birth when they register so that Book Sorter recommendations can be tailored for different age groups.
Children have the option of posting messages to the Chat page to share how they’re getting on with their Challenge and talk to other readers. All messages go directly to our moderation team, and nothing is displayed on the site that breaks the rules of our strict code of conduct.
Children cannot message each other independently – they can only post messages to the Chat page.
We never use children’s real names or allow messages with real names to be posted on our site. Similarly any personal information such as addresses and phone numbers are never displayed. Messages containing any personal information will be blocked by our moderators.
Stay up to date
Free resources to enjoy at home
The Reading Agency works with top children’s publishers to create and share fun family-friendly activities to encourage reading for pleasure.
Roald & Beatrix: The Tail of the Curious Mouse
Lovers of children’s classics are in for a treat with the new film Roald & Beatrix: The Tail of the Curious Mouse, and we have a fun activity resource for families to use to accompany their discussions.
Roald and Beatrix is based on the true story of an unlikely meeting between two of Britain’s most beloved children’s authors, one dealing with the pressures of success and aging, the other a child learning to navigate grief and loss in a confusing adult world. The film is currently available to watch via NOW TV.
This pack includes discussion questions and activity prompts. Download your pack here.
This year, the children’s mental health charity Place2Be are spotlighting the importance of self-expression. The ‘Express Yourself’ booklist shares 45 brilliant books that will support conversations around feelings and inspire children and young people to express themselves.
The booklist covers all ages, with suggestions for picture books, middle grade books and teen/YA titles. Download the booklist here.
Fantastically Great Women: Scientists and Their Stories
The brilliant Kate Pankhurst, descendent of Emmeline Pankhurst, tells the stories of some incredible female scientists whose hard work and persistence changed our understanding of science, and transformed people’s ideas of what women can do.
Bloomsbury Children’s Books have created a wonderful resource which includes a range of projects and activities perfect for celebrating International Women’s Day and International Science Week! Download your pack here.
Become a Reading Spy with Maz Evans’s Licence to Chill
To save her family – and the world – from evil domination, Vi must turn spy…
To celebrate the arrival of Maz Evans’s VI SPY: LICENCE TO CHILL, Chicken House have put together a whole host of VI SPY-themed educational materials. These resources will develop comprehension and inference skills, inspire creative writing activities and help young readers become…Reading Spies!
You can find all the Reading Spies materials on Chicken House’s Schools Hub here.
National Deaf Children’s Society
This year, we worked with the National Deaf Children’s Society to create our Wild World Hero character – Willow the forest ranger! Willow uses British Sign Language. You can learn more about Willow and her animal companion Hazel the red squirrel on their character page.
NDCS have shared some wonderful resources with us. Check out their signed stories and comics below.
Elephant and the Lost Blanket is an original NDCS picture book perfect for younger readers. Click here to read it!
Ninja Phoenix and DJ and The Gloopy Glop is an amazing animated story written by Dylan (aged 10) Click here to watch it.
NDCS have also created comics that help introduce deaf children to experiences such as getting Cochlear Implants or Hearing Aids. These resources are aimed for children under 8 years old.
Download Chloe gets Cochlear Implants
Top tips for reading together
We hosted a webinar with Parentkind on ‘Reading as a Family’, where an expert panel discussed the importance of families to children’s reading, and practical tips on motivating children to read.
Sitting down with your own book, newspaper or magazine sets a good example to kids – they will copy you – and reading a book together can really encourage a love of stories.
Discover adult reading lists and book reviews on The Reading Agency’s Find a book page.
Arts Award Discover at Home
If you are feeling creative and want to celebrate reading and creativity, Arts Award have a free resource pack to support families to learn, read and be creative together. Discover at Home is a special version of Arts Award Discover, the first level of Arts Award.
Find out more and download your pack here.
Comic books and graphic novels
As well as being fun, comic books, graphic novels and illustrated books can help young readers to improve their reading comprehension, stamina and imagination.
Find out more about the benefits of comics and graphic novels in our brief introduction here, complete with links to suggested websites and resources.
Chatterbooks reading clubs help children build a lifelong reading habit.
Every month, brand new activities created by leading children’s book publishers are available to download for FREE from our Chatterbooks resources page. You’ll find great suggestions for books to explore and activities suitable for enjoying at home, school or in your library.
Find out more about Chatterbooks and sign up for the email newsletter here.
Reading Well for children
Reading Well for children provides quality-assured information, stories and advice to support children’s mental health and wellbeing. Books have been chosen and recommended by leading health professionals and co-produced with children and families.
The booklist is targeted at children in Key Stage 2 (aged 7-11), but includes titles aimed at a wide range of reading levels to support less confident readers, and to encourage children to read together with their siblings and carers.
Visit our Help page if you have a question about using this website.
At The Reading Agency we help people of all ages tackle life’s big challenges through the proven power of reading.
Find out more about our work here.
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Helping more children take part
It costs £1 for The Reading Agency to provide the Summer Reading Challenge free of charge to each child.
If your child enjoys taking part in the Challenge, then please help us bring the joy of reading to even more children. Please donate £3 to help us reach another three children or whatever you feel you can to help share the power and fun of reading,
If you would like to make a larger gift, legacy pledge or can support our fundraising in any way, please email Rebecca.Kendall@readingagency.org.uk.
The Reading Agency receives 100% of your donation. Obtain bill payer’s permission.
Customer care 08448479800. Charity No 1085443.