Summer Reading Challenge

The Summer Reading Challenge takes place during the school summer holidays every year at a library near you

The Summer Reading Challenge is produced by The Reading Agency and delivered in partnership with libraries. The challenge, aimed at children aged 4 - 11 years, is to read six or more library books over the summer,  encouraging them to keep up the reading habit over their long break from school. 

There is a different theme each year.  In 2023, Ready, Set, Read! was a sports and games themed challenge.   10,135 children in Nottinghamshire took part in our libraries.

Children who take part in the Summer Reading Challenge:

  • are more enthusiastic about reading
  • maintain their reading level over the holidays
  • return to schools keen and ready to learn
  • boost their confidence and self-esteem.

To find out more click here

Summer Reading Challenge 2023: Ready, Set, Read!

The 2023 challenge, Ready, Set, Read!  was themed around the power of play, sport and games.  By reading six library books,  children helped a fictional superstar team (and their marvellous mascots!) weave their way through a summer obstacle course. 

An illustration of three boys and three girls holding different sporting equipment, standing on a green hill under a blue, sunny sky. The text reads Summer Reading Challenge 2023, Ready Set, Read! Presented by the Reading Agency, delivered in partnership with libraries.

Developed in collaboration with the Youth Sport Trust, the 2023 Summer Reading Challenge celebrated play and participation, encouraging children to get involved in games and sports in any way that best suited them.

How the challenge works

A smiling, female librarian holding up three of the pull-out folders that children will get when they join the challenge
  • Children sign up at the library to start their Challenge.
  • Borrow books and get reading!  Children choose the books they want to read, recording what they have read along the way.  Library staff and volunteers are on hand to chat to children about books they have read.
  • For every book read, children will pick up stickers (some are smelly!) along with other rewards as they progress through the challenge
  • Every child who completes the challenge, by reading 6 library books, receives a medal and certificate.
It’s all free, fun and a great way to keep children reading over the summer holidays.

Mini Challenge: There is a bite sized version of the Summer Reading Challenge is also available for children aged 3 and under.  Find out more here.

Children can also take part online for digital rewards

  • sign up for a website profile direct at (children will be asked to provide a parent/carer email address to approve signup).  
  • Set a personal reading goal for the summer.
  • Record the books read onto an online profile and leave reviews to unlock digital badges and online rewards
  • Children will unlock a certificate to download once they reach their goal.

There is help and guidance available to support signing up to the online challenge here

Please note, the in-person and online Challenges are separate. Physical incentives like medals and certificates are only available via the library, for those taking part in the in-person Challenge.

What to read on the Summer Reading Challenge

Children can read any books they like on the Summer Reading Challenge; stories, fact books, poetry, jokes, graphic novels. 

Our children's book recommendations page has inspiration. There are lots of ebooks and audio books that can be borrowed from the library online to help complete the online challenge.

Explore a selection of books inspired by the 2023 Summer Reading Challenge theme on our pintrest board below; celebrating the power of play, sports and games.