Summer Space Chase – thousands of local children take part in Bucks Summer Reading Challenge


Summer may already feel like a dim and distant memory – but that won’t stop us celebrating the efforts of thousands of local children who took part in this year’s fantastic Summer Reading Challenge through Buckinghamshire’s Library Service.

A total of 4,686 intrepid young Bucks readers aged 4-11 joined our ‘Space Chase’ over the school holidays! Set by the Reading Agency, the annual Summer Reading Challenge is designed to encourage children to read during the long school holidays and the scheme has just celebrated its 20th anniversary.

Also, more than 70 young volunteers aged 12-24 were involved with helping to run the challenge this year, clocking more than 350 hours.

Children had to borrow and read at least six books of their choice between 13 July and 7 September, getting rewards for every two books read, including stickers, wristbands, certificates and medals. This year’s theme was “Space Chase”, inspired by the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing. Children would help the fictional Rocket family track down mischievous aliens who had been stealing books across the galaxy by receiving clues for their “mission folder”.

Gareth Williams is Buckinghamshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Community Engagement and Public Health.

He said:

“It’s absolutely brilliant that such a huge number of children took part in this year’s Summer Reading Challenge. I want to say a big well done to them and to thank our library staff too, who went all out to promote the programme with a variety of space-themed events and competitions taking place across the county.

It’s also wonderful that we had so many young volunteers helping us to run this year’s challenge too – in true Space Chase style, it’s been ‘out of this world’. It’s a brilliant scheme and I urge all our avid young readers to look out for next year’s Summer Reading Challenge. 

It’s a testament to our library service that across the county they create an exciting, welcoming and nurturing environment to spur young readers on.”

There’s still a whole galaxy of books available at our libraries - more than enough to last until next summer.



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