Summer Reading Challenge

From The Reading Agency

Resource type: Projects, programmes and workshops

Price band: Free

Key stage: KS1, KS2

Region(s): All of UK

The Summer Reading Challenge is an annual programme co-ordinated by The Reading Agency that encourages children aged 4-11 to read for pleasure over the summer holidays to help prevent the summer reading ‘dip’. For 2023, the Summer Reading Challenge has teamed up with the Youth Sport Trust to create Ready, Set, Read, a sports-themed challenge designed to keep children’s minds and bodies active over the summer.

Children can take part in the challenge through their local public library or via the dedicated Summer Reading Challenge website, where they can set their personal reading goal, use the Book Sorter to find recommendations from other children, unlock digital rewards, play games and enter competitions. Further resources provided include:

  • A School Zone with access to a free Information Pack, Assembly Presentations and other resources to help schools promote the Summer Reading Challenge to pupils and parents.
  • A themed Ready, Set, Read book collection chosen by an expert group of readers.


  • The Summer Reading Challenge launches in libraries in Scotland on 24th June and on 8th July for libraries in England and Wales.
  • Finish dates will vary, so check with your local library service.

Cost: Free

About The Reading Agency: The Reading Agency is a charity that runs UK-wide programmes  that promote the benefits of reading for children and adults. Its vision is for a world where everyone is reading their way to a better life.

Further resources:

  • Build support for holiday reading and help promote the Summer Reading Challenge in your school by running a Booknic. Find details of how to set up your Booknic and other supporting resources here.
  • Encourage fathers to read to their children over the summer with the new Dads Make Stories Magic campaign. The campaign was launched to address the findings of recent research that found that only one in three children are read to every day or nearly every day by their fathers. The Dads Make Stories Magic website has videos of dads reading with their children, reading recommendations and links to the research.
  • Get your new year 7 pupils involved in the Summer Book Club to build confidence as readers and provide a shared experience when they start the new academic year. This year’s title is The Chime Seekers by award-winning author Ross Montgomery and the Summer Book Club provides free supporting resource and access to discounted copies of the text.
  • Get involved with the School Library Association’s #ReadforRefugees Challenge. This sponsored read is designed to promote reading and provide a way for children to do something positive in the face of tragedy. Supporting resources are available and all proceeds will be donated to UK for UNHCR. The challenge runs until the end of September.
  • Books for Topics has created a Summer Recommended Reads list alongside a Summer Reading Bingo Challenge with an emphasis on having fun while reading. Bingo boards and certificates are available to download for free from the website.
  • LoveReading4Kids has pulled together a Summer Reading booklist with more than 80 books for all ages, from pre-school to YA. There are also links to their Kids Zone, full of book-related activities and videos, and ideas on how to Get Creative with writer and publishing professional Joanne Owen.
  • Book review website Toppsta allows children to find book recommendations for themselves by searching by age, theme or category. Encourage your pupils to review one or more of the books in their Summer Reading Bundle for the chance to win copies of all nine books for your school.
  • The Week Junior runs an annual Summer of Reading Challenge and you can download the 2023 book list of 50 titles recommended by their young readers.
  • The World Book Day website has a range of resources that children and parents can access over the summer holidays, including the World Book Day Book Club, free audio books and  the Share a Story Corner for younger children and their parents.
  • The Story Corner is a free 28pp online children’s magazine featuring stories, writing activities and games from reading volunteer charity Bookmark. A useful resource for children aged 5-9 who may find it difficult to access books during the holidays, there are now six editions of the magazine available on their website.
  • Charity Read for Good has launched Track My Read, a free web-based tool that allows teachers or parents to set class/family reading challenges, and encourages children to log and share their reading achievements.
  • Co-designed with teenagers, the Bookzilla app has a range of features to get upper primary and early secondary pupils reading, including tailored recommendations, reading challenges and  more.
  • For children who find accessing print difficult, Calibre Audio is a charity that provides free access to a wide range of audio books for all ages.
  • Lead by example! Encourage your pupils to take part in the Summer Reading Challenge by signing up for the Teachers’ Reading Challenge.

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