The Summer Reading Challenge is the country’s biggest literacy campaign and is a fun and engaging way of maintaining children’s reading skills over the summer holidays.

With summer 2020 affected by lockdown, everyone at Suffolk Libraries has been delighted with the success of this year’s challenge. Over half of the children taking part have managed to read an impressive six books and complete the challenge. Many children have also signed up for their first library card to take part in the challenge with nearly 2,800 new children’s library cards registered over the past few weeks.

Paul Howarth, Head of Content & Resource Development at Suffolk Libraries, said:

“With this year’s Summer Reading Challenge coming so soon after the relaxation of COVID regulations we’re delighted that so many children and families have come back to libraries this summer. We’d like to congratulate all those children who’ve completed the challenge and hope it’s inspired many young children to keep on reading and visiting their library.”

One parent told us how her children Wilfred (7) and Nellie (4) enjoyed the Summer Reading Challenge:

“We always complete the reading challenge each year, even during lockdown when it was only online. Wilfred read 10 books through the summer and reads every evening before bed, as does Nellie. Nellie had 12 books out at one point, and 8 through the summer holidays. She is quickly learning to recognise letters and words well and having a variety of books helps with that, especially as she’s started school this September. 

“Wilfred said his favourite thing about the reading challenge is earning a medal at the end when he completes the challenge. They have always enjoyed books from babies and the library provides such a great service.” 

The Summer Reading Challenge came to a close with a special event at Chantry Library last week with Suffolk Owl Sanctuary introducing Auckland the Boobook owl to local children. Many libraries have been holding animal-themed activities to support the reading challenge which has had the theme of Wild World Heroes. 

Suffolk Libraries is also providing advice and information for children who’ve recently started or returned to school. Parents can borrow Get Ready for School book bags from their library and there are lists of suggested books related to preparing for school covering helpful subjects such as getting dressed and the alphabet. More information can be found at