Summer Reading Challenge 2021 begins on 10th July


Buckinghamshire Libraries launches this year’s Summer Reading Challenge arriving in your local library and online


Buckinghamshire Libraries are launching the Summer Reading Challenge, Wild World Heroes, on Saturday 10th July.

The Summer Reading Challenge, delivered in partnership with public libraries, encourages reading for pleasure for children aged 4 to 11 over the summer holidays. It's the biggest children’s reading for pleasure programme in the UK, reaching 700,000 children annually. The Reading Agency are aiming to increase its impact even further this year by reaching 1 million children with its new digital platform providing accessible, fun reading activities for all children.

This year the theme is Wild World Heroes and will be a celebration of reading, nature and action for the environment. Developed in partnership with WWF, the world's leading independent conservation organisation, Wild World Heroes will inspire children to stand up for the future of our planet.

Teenage naturalist, award-winning writer and broadcaster Dara McAnulty and award-winning explorer, presenter, and writer Steve Backshall, are ambassadors for the Summer Reading Challenge 2021. Wild World Heroes is brought to life with bespoke artwork from top children's illustrator, Heath McKenzie.

Children are encouraged to read 6 books (including eBooks and eAudio) and can find book recommendations and access lots of fun activities on the Summer Reading Challenge website.

It has been proven that children aged 10 who read books often, and more than once a week aged 16, gain higher results in Maths, vocabulary and spelling tests at age 16 than those who read less frequently.* 

Below are some of our top picks for this year's theme.


Read from our eBook collection


New for 2021, the pre-school mini challenge is suitable for children aged 3 years and under. It is a great way to encourage families with younger children to regularly borrow and read books over the summer, especially if older siblings are taking part in the main challenge.

With ideas from WWF, the Challenge focuses on action for nature and tackling real-world environmental issues, from plastic pollution and deforestation to wildlife decline and nature loss.

Schools Minister Nick Gibb said: "Reading is a cornerstone of children's education and a key skill for developing their language and vocabulary. After the impact of the pandemic on young people, this year's Summer Reading Challenge is more timely than ever, and a great opportunity for children to discover the joy of reading while building knowledge of vital environmental issues."


This year Summer Reading Challenge will end on Saturday 4th September.


About The Reading Agency:

The Reading Agency is a national charity that tackles life’s big challenges through the proven power of reading. They work closely with partners to develop and deliver programmes for people of all ages and backgrounds; their vision is for a world where everyone is reading their way to a better life.

They help 1.8 million people benefit from reading every year, through their programmes, tireless campaigning, excellent networks and power to influence, challenge and make change happen. Follow them on Twitter and Facebook


About Arts Council England:

The Arts Council is the national development agency for creativity and culture. By 2030 they want England to be a country in which the creativity of each of us is valued and given the chance to flourish and where everyone of us has access to a remarkable range of high-quality cultural experiences. Between 2018 and 2022, they will invest £1.45 billion of public money from government and an estimated £860 million from the National Lottery to help deliver this vision.


*[OECD (2010) PISA 2009 Results: Learning to Learn: Student Engagement, Strategies and Practices p. 32-4]

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