Youngsters can read their way through summer

A JOURNEY into magical other worlds awaits children in Northumberland as the annual Summer Reading Challenge begins.

The initiative encourages youngsters to experience the joy of books and a free colourful starter pack is provided to help them keep track of their reading.

There is a target to read at least six books during the school holiday, collecting incentives and rewards along the way. Those who complete the challenge will be presented with a certificate and medal at a special ceremony in their local library.

Northumberland County Council Executive Member for Libraries Neil Bradbury said: “Reading is a vital life skill, yet it can often take second place to the excitement of computers, television and electronic games. It is our aim to prove that books can be just as exciting.

“The Summer Reading Challenge is always an immensely popular and successful reading initiative and last year thousands of local children signed up to take part. I know that most parents appreciate the importance of reading and I hope they will once again bring their children along to their library to sign up to this summer scheme.”

This year’s challenge will be based on the theme Story Lab, featuring Professor Cortex, the Story Lab Kids and Aesop the ginger lab cat. They collect and share stories to inspire young imaginations and an interactive website lets children talk about their favourite books with authors and illustrators.

Events in local libraries will support the scheme, which was created by The Reading Agency.

Children can sign up for the challenge by visiting their local library and more information is available at www.story-lab.org.uk