Summer Reading Challenge

Every year Northamptonshire Libraries deliver the Summer Reading Challenge for 4 to 11 year olds.


Summer Reading Challenge

The Summer Reading Challenge theme for 2021 is Wild World Heroes. The Reading Agency have teamed up with the World Wildlife Fund for this very special nature-themed challenge which will inspire you to stand up for the planet!

Pack your bags, we’re headed for Wilderville! It’s a pretty cool place, but there are lots of things that the Wild World Heroes can do to make their town even better for the people and animals that live there. You are invited to join the Wild World Heroes for the Summer Reading Challenge and discover how you can make a difference to the environment too.

Why should I join in?

Studies have shown that children’s reading can ‘dip’ through the long summer holidays if they don’t have regular access to books and are encouraged to read for pleasure. The annual Summer Reading Challenge aims to get children reading for enjoyment and promote the use of the fabulous online resources that their local library provides.

The Summer Reading Challenge encourages children to read for pleasure. It combines free access to books with fun activities, that can be completed at home, and a creative online element. At the heart of the challenge is children choosing and sharing any books – in any format – that they like. Novels, fact books, picture books, graphic novels, joke books, all count.

These can be borrowed from your local library or from one of the library’s e-book and e-audiobook providers. This year you can also read, or listen to, books that you already have at home.

Northamptonshire Libraries have two e-book and e-audiobook providers, Borrowbox and Libby, who children can borrow books from. More information can be found on our e-Reads and audio page. Children have full access to all the e-lending stock on these platforms, including adult titles, so parents and carers should supervise what their children are borrowing.

How do I join in?

Just pop along to your local library from 10 July and sign up. If your child doesn’t have a library card they can become a member on the day or anytime before. They don’t need to bring any identification, but under 16s will need their parent or carer’s permission. Once they have a library card they can start borrowing straight away and access a wonderful world of books and audiobooks, as well as our free e-Reads and audio.

If your child only wants to borrow eBooks and eAudiobooks they can apply to be a virtual library member online. Full information, and the online application form, can be found on our virtual library membership page.

How does the challenge work?

Children can sign up to the Summer Reading Challenge in their local library any time from 10 July and collect their free Space Chase folder. The challenge is to read six library books over the summer and collect special smelly stickers along the way. When six books have been read they earn a finishers certificate and medal. It’s fun, it’s local and best of all, it’s free!

Adult reading challenge

This year grown ups can also set themselves a reading challenge with “For the Love of Books – Fully Booked”. The whole family could have a target number of books to read over the summer or perhaps try different genres or formats of books.

Summer activities

All North Northamptonshire Council and West Northamptonshire Council Statutory libraries will post an online activity on their facebook page each week, that families can join in with at home.

The Northamptonshire Summer Reading Challenge facebook page will share news and book reviews as well as a special series of Story Hunts exploring the natural world with storyteller John Kirk. Jammed packed with intereactive scavenger hunting fun these vitual storytelling sessions are suitable for families with story hunters age 3+.


Due to the uncertainty surrounding Covid-19, we are unable to offer the Summer Reading Challenge volunteer role this year.

Find out more

For more Wild World Heroes activities you can visit the official Wild World Heroes website.

The Summer Reading Challenge is produced annually by The Reading Agency and delivered by libraries.