The well-loved summer reading challenge returns to Manchester libraries this summer after being launched with school children in Central Library earlier this week. The Summer Reading Challenge is open to all young people across the city, children can join in the challenge online and in their local library where they’ll be given a free joining pack and incentives to get reading.  

This summer’s sports theme is named ‘Ready, Set, Read’ and aims to encourage youngsters to keep their minds and bodies active over the summer holidays. Children aged 4-11 can take part in the summer reading challenge and, there is also a mini challenge for budding readers aged 0-3.

Young readers will be encouraged to keep up their reading habits over the summer holidays and help the characters – brought to life by children’s author and illustrator Loretta Schauer – navigate a fictional summer obstacle course and track their reading as they go.  

Ready, Set, Read: This year’s Summer Reading Challenge launched: Ready Set Read - children from Acacia PS

Manchester has a rich sporting history and The Council hope that children and residents will channel their love of sports, play and games into the challenge.  

Invited school children from Manchester took part in engaging sessions across two iconic local venues; Manchester Central Library and the National Football Museum. Local children’s author, Priscilla Mante, met with school children showing her book series The Dream Team. Shortlisted for the Childrens Sports Book of The Year 2022, Mante’s book series tell the story of a girls’ football team defying the odds to prove they are serious players.

Pupils were also treated to experience first-hand the National Football Museum’s latest exhibition Batteries Not Included. A new cutting-edge virtual reality experience exploring football games and toys over the years. Pupils were given the chance to enjoy 17 interactive games and exhibits, including Subbuteo, classic arcade games, and exclusive creative activities. When children have completed the challenge, they will receive a medal and certificate for their hard work, they’ll also be entered the grand prize draw upon finishing the challenge.

By providing fun reading activities, the Summer Reading Challenge supports families and teachers by providing free-to-access recreation and learning resources – all created to keep children inspired to read. The digital Summer Reading Challenge platform will encourage children with limited physical access to the library to take part in the Challenge.  

Councillor John Hacking, Executive Member for Skills, Employment and Leisure said:

“The annual Summer Reading Challenge is a fantastic initiative that encourages children from all areas of our city to continue their learning development over the holidays.

“Year after year, Manchester Libraries work hard with partner organisations in engaging young Mancunians to discover the joy of the written word. It’s a valuable campaign that tackles the dip in reading habits in young people, and we’re proud to see so many across the city get involved with it.”

Karen Napier, CEO, The Reading Agency said:

“We’re delighted to see how library partners across the country are organising their own events and activities to support this year’s Summer Reading Challenge. We are really looking forward to working closely with them to help get children reading, imagining, and staying active this summer.”

For more information, please read our Summer Reading Challenge Blog.