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The Silly Squad ... The 2020 Reading Challenge

Is the Summer Reading Challenge 2020 still going ahead?

Yes, but it will be an online challenge only.

Why is the Summer Reading Challenge online this year?

In light of the current situation affecting the delivery of all public services The Reading Agency and their partners had agreed in April that it would not be possible to deliver the Summer Reading Challenge in its usual print format throughout public libraries this summer, so they developed a digital version as an alternative.

Are you able to run the Summer Reading Challenge as normal when libraries re-open?

No.  With the disruption caused by Covid-19 and the impact of social distancing on local libraries, the 2020 Challenge is online in a new digital format designed to keep children engaged and interested in reading.

When does the Summer Reading Challenge start?

This year’s Summer Reading Challenge is already underway. The online program was launched on Friday 5 June.

What is the theme this summer?

This year, the Summer Reading Challenge's Silly Squad will celebrate funny books, happiness and laughter. Children taking part in the Challenge will join the Silly Squad, an adventurous team of animals who love to have a laugh and get stuck into all sorts of funny books!

Who is the illustrator of the Silly Squad artwork? 

Award-winning children's book author and illustrator, Laura Ellen Anderson, has created bespoke artwork for the 2020 Challenge. Laura is the creator of the Evil Emperor Penguin comic series, and picture books including I Don't Want Curly Hair and I Don't Want to be Small. The best-selling AMELIA FANG is Laura's first fiction series as author-illustrator.

Who can take part in the Summer Reading Challenge?

The online Summer Reading Challenge is aimed at children aged 4 to 11. Parents can sign up younger or older children should they wish to take part.

What does my child have to do to complete the Summer Reading Challenge?

When they sign up each child will be asked to set a reading goal for the summer. The Reading Agency recommends they set their goal at six books, but they are free to pick whichever number is right for them.

Are there restrictions on what type of books my child can read?

No. Children can read any books they would like to complete the Challenge either in physical or digital format: stories, information books, poetry, joke books, picture books, comics, audio books all count.

Can my child take part without visiting the library?

Yes. Your child can sign up to join the Summer Reading Challenge online and you can visit our website for access to a wide range of e-books, e-audio, e-magazines and e-comics for them to read or listen to, which can be borrowed free of charge with their library card. They can also read any books they have at home.

How does my child sign up to take part in the Summer Reading Challenge?

To join the Summer Reading Challenge for the first time, they will need:

  • Permission from their parent or carer
  • An email address belonging to their parent or carer

On the home page they will be directed to click the blue JOIN NOW button to get started.

Where can we find out more information about the Summer Reading Challenge?

Visit the Reading Agency website or their Facebook page

How does my child record their progress?

Each time they finish a book, they’ll need to go online and add it to their Silly Squad profile, give it a rating and leave a review.  As this is an online challenge only this year, you will not need to visit the library for your child to talk to library staff or volunteers.

How does a child taking part know how many books they have read?

Their online profile will show them their progress in the Challenge.

Are there any Silly Squad activity sheets my child can complete?

Yes, you can download activity sheets from the Colouring in and Wordsearch page and Number Sudoku page on the Reading Agency website.

Will my child earn rewards for reading a book(s)?

Yes. As they complete the Challenge, they will unlock a series of digital rewards including stickers, video clips and activities. The mega prize is a certificate, which is awarded when your child completes their reading goal and can be downloaded to keep.

When does this year’s Summer Reading Challenge finish?

The Summer Reading Challenge is due to run into the autumn.  The Reading Agency have not yet provided a specific finishing date.

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