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 2022, the Summer Reading Challenge has teamed up with Science Museum Group to create Gadgeteers, a science-themed Challenge designed to inspire children to see the science and innovation in the world around them.

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, receive book recommendations, unlock digital rewards, play games and enter competitions.


  • The Summer Reading Challenge launches in libraries in Scotland and Northern Ireland on Saturday 25th June and in England and Wales on Saturday 9th July.
  • 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:

  • The Summer Reading Challenge School Zone has a free Information Pack, Assembly Presentations and other resources to help schools promote the Summer Reading Challenge to pupils and parents.
  • Explore the new Gadgeteers Book Collection, chosen by experts and featuring books for all ages from pre-schoolers to UKS2.
  • 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.
  • The Week Junior is also running a Summer of Reading Challenge that asks young people to read and review three books over the summer. There’s a suggested booklist for inspiration and some great prizes to be won. The challenge runs until Wednesday 31st August.
  • 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.
  • 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. Based around M.G. Leonard’s exciting mystery adventure Twitch, there are free supporting resources, a live online Q&A with the author in September, discounted prices on sets of books and an e-book available for just £0.99.
  • BookTrust’s Bookfinder database and the Toppsta website both allow children to find book recommendations for themselves by searching by age, theme or category.
  • 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 four 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 or 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.
  • Get involved with the School Library Association’s #ReadforRefugees Sunflower 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 1st September.
  • 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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