For parents and carers
We wanted to create a page just for parents and carers where you can find information about your child taking part in the Summer Reading Challenge and using this website.
What is the Summer Reading Challenge?
The Summer Reading Challenge is the UK’s biggest free reading for pleasure event for children. It is run by the national charity The Reading Agency in partnership with the UK public library network.
The aim of the Challenge is to encourage children to read any six books of their choice from their library during the summer holidays.
The Challenge offers children and families an enjoyable activity in the six-week summer break from school when reading skills and confidence can dip, commonly known as the ‘summer slide’.
Children receive special rewards each time they finish a book and there’s a certificate for everyone who completes the Challenge.
Photos © Dave Warren 2019 for The Reading Agency with thanks to Pancras Square Library
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 gets around 700,000 children into libraries each year to keep up their reading skills and confidence during the long holidays.
It’s fun, it’s free and it’s local!
Explore more reading facts here
Space Chase, Summer Reading Challenge 2019
Every year there’s a different theme. The Summer Reading Challenge 2019 theme is Space Chase, an out-of-this-world adventure inspired by the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing.
Children taking part in the Challenge will join our super space family, The Rockets, for a thrilling mission to track down books nabbed by mischievous aliens!
Space Chase will feature bespoke artwork from top children’s illustrator, Adam Stower, and will celebrate adventure, exploration, reading and fun!
Illustrations © Adam Stower 2019 for The Reading Agency
Taking part in the Summer Reading Challenge
The Summer Reading Challenge is aimed at children aged four to eleven and it is run in almost all libraries in the UK.
Visit your local library during the summer holidays to sign up – the sooner you go, the longer your child will have to read six books!
Staff will register your child for the Challenge and give them some fun materials to get them started.
Many libraries will also offer pre-school activities suitable for under-fours, including specially designed Summer Reading Challenge materials. Visit your local branch to find out more.
The Summer Reading Challenge will launch in libraries in Scotland on Saturday 22 June 2019.
The Challenge will launch in libraries in England and Wales on Saturday 13 July 2019.
The Reading Agency does not set an official end date for the Summer Reading Challenge.
Local variations will apply, so check with your local library service to find out when the Challenge will begin and end in your area.
The Summer Reading Challenge website
The Summer Reading Challenge website allows your child to keep track of the books they have read during the summer and beyond.
Please note: the Summer Reading Challenge is a library-based scheme and children must sign up to take part at a participating library to be eligible for any rewards (including stickers and certificates).
Your child’s safety
Your child’s online safety is paramount to us.
When your child signs up for a Summer Reading Challenge website account, as the parent or guardian of the child we need you to confirm their registration. This is to comply with the latest data protection laws.
Signing up to the Summer Reading Challenge website
When your child signs up for a website account, we ask them to provide an email address for a parent or carer. We then send you an email asking you to approve their account.
- To approve your child’s account, you will need a Reading Agency Passport account of your own – this is so we can link your account to your child’s for security.
- If you don’t have a Reading Agency Passport account, you can sign up for one here, or follow the instructions in the approval email we send you.
- Once you’re logged in to your Passport account, follow the instructions in the approval email to complete your child’s registration.
- Their account will then appear linked to yours under the ‘Children’ tab on your profile page, and they will be able to log in.
- You can manage your child’s account details – including usernames and passwords – through the ‘Children’ tab on your profile.
Website screen names
When your child joins the Summer Reading Challenge website they are automatically assigned a random screen name (for example, “Professor Iggy Wellington”).
This screen name will be displayed at the top of the page when they sign in and will appear against any content they post to the website.
Every child is given a random screen name to help keep them anonymous.
Children can choose their own username and password when registering for the website and these details will allow them to sign in. The screen name is randomly allocated and helps protect the identity of children who may enter their real name as their username.
If the date of birth your child has registered with indicates they are an adult, their screen name will automatically display as Anonymous.
This is because the same sign up system is used across all Reading Agency websites, where adults are able to post using their real names if they wish. We do not post any identifying information on the Summer Reading Challenge website, so adult screen names default to Anonymous.
How we use your information
The email address we collect when a new account is created is never passed on to third parties. We use this email address to enable children who have forgotten their username and/or password 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. We do not use this information for anything else.
Children have the option of posting messages to the Chat page to tell us how they’re getting on with the Summer Reading Challenge and share the books they are enjoying with other readers. All messages sent through Chat go directly to our moderator, 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 send messages via the Chat page (and through our moderator).
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.
Find out what is happening throughout the summer and in other parts of the country
Share your Summer Reading Challenge memories
The Summer Reading Challenge turns 20 this year and we’d love to hear from previous participants!
Join in the 20th anniversary celebrations by sharing your Summer Reading Challenge recollections with us here.
Have your say
We’d really like to find out what you thought of Space Chase, the Summer Reading Challenge 2019. Please complete our short survey and help us make sure the Summer Reading Challenge is as good as it can be! You can also enter our prize draw to win a £30 shopping voucher.
Helping more children take part
It only costs £3 for The Reading Agency and libraries to provide the Summer Reading Challenge free of charge to three children.
If your child enjoys taking part in the Summer Reading Challenge, then please help us bring the joy of reading and the fun of the Challenge to even more children. Please donate £3 to help us reach another three children.
You can donate by visiting www.justgiving.com/fundraising/summerreadingchallenge
- The Reading Agency receives 100% of your donation. Obtain bill payer’s permission. Customer care 08448479800. Charity No 1085443.
Make space for reading this summer
The Summer Reading Challenge is a great time to share and talk about books as a family and to celebrate your child’s reading achievements. 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.
Download our free Space Chase Family Favourites activity sheet to create your own summer reading record and start conversations with friends and family.
The Reading Agency’s adult reading team has created a space themed summer reading list to help inspire you. From brain-bending books on physics to comic tales from the furthest edges of the universe, there’s something for everyone.
You can discover more reading lists and book reviews on The Reading Agency’s Find a book page.
For general questions about the Summer Reading Challenge and using this website, visit the Summer Reading Challenge website help page
For questions about Space Chase, Summer Reading Challenge 2019, take a look at our Frequently Asked Questions page
Download free materials including posters, leaflets and activities and help spread the word about the Summer Reading Challenge!
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.
Check out our guest campaign post on Mumsnet
Listen to Lynne Livingston from the RNIB Library explain how children can access books in braille, Giant Print and audio formats, and hear extracts from some of the brilliant books in the Space Chase collection read aloud.