Summer Reading Challenge 2021: Wild World Heroes & Summer library events

Published 19th July 2021

Children are invited to be Wild World Heroes at Inspire libraries this summer and join in with some fun family activities

We are getting ready for a summer of reading with Wild World Heroes: Summer Reading Challenge 2021 which launched on Saturday 10 July.  After a digital-only challenge in 2020– library staff and volunteers are looking forward to welcoming families back into the library to take part.

The Summer Reading Challenge asks 4-11 year olds to borrow and read any six library books over the summer. This annual challenge is produced by The Reading Agency and runs in libraries across the country.  

This year’s challenge has been developed in partnership with WWF, the world's leading independent conservation organisation.  The theme focuses on action for nature and tackling real-world environmental issues, from plastic pollution and deforestation to wildlife decline and nature loss. 

Through taking part in the Challenge, with free packs from public libraries, children will be able to join six fictional characters - 'wild heroes' - to help solve some of these threats, learning about the importance of the environment while helping to restore nature levels in the neighbourhood of 'Wilderville'.

To take part in Wild World Heroes, all children need to do is to head to their local library where they will be given their collector poster featuring a map of Wilderville and space to keep a record of their reading journey.

Children choose the books they want to read on their Challenge; stories, fact books, joke books – all reading counts! 

There’s a certificate and medal for every child who completes the challenge by reading 6 books.

Wild World Heroes will be a celebration of reading, nature and action for the environment.  

Peter Gaw, Inspire’s Chief Executive commented; “The Summer Reading Challenge is a great scheme to encourage children to keep up the reading habit over the summer.  We are delighted to be able to deliver it again this year from our libraries.  We know from feedback we receive from children and families that the challenge can inspire and enhance a love of reading which can support children through their school years and beyond. We are very keen to see children and families return to using their local library and this free scheme is a great way to welcome them back” 

Supporting Inspire getting the word out about the Summer Reading Challenge are our friends at arcpartnership, who have supported the production of a promotional leaflet including a prize draw for children to win nature themed books at the end of the summer. 

How the Summer Reading Challenge works;

  • Children sign up at the library, collecting their pull out poster, to keep a record of their reading journey.
  • Children choose the books they want to read.  Staff and volunteers will be on hand at the library to chat to children about books they have read.
  • For every book read, children will pick up stickers and other rewards as they explore Wildverville and help the heroes solve the environmental problems they spot along the way.
  • Every child who completes the challenge by reading 6 library books will receive a medal and certificate.

It’s all free, fun and a great way to keep chilldren reading over the summer holidays.  Wild World Heroes will be running in Inspire libraries from 10 July – 5 September. Visit to find out more

West Bridgford Library will host a Summer Reading Challenge Exhibition from 10 July to 12 September.

As part of Inspire’s Arts Council National Portfolio Organisation funded work, artist Alex Godwin and author Caryl Hart, Inspire's 2021 Artist and Author in residence have been working with pupils from Jesse Gray Primary School to create art and writing to positively explore environmental themes.  Influenced by the children’s work the Wild Walls and Words exhibition at West Bridgford Library Gallery features commissioned paintings and writings by our resident professionals. 

Alex and Caryl Hart are also delivering live online workshops for families during the summer. Alex will be demonstrating how to draw wild animals and Caryl will be running a fun writing masterclass.   Families are invited to book a place and then collect a pack of materials from the library which to create amazing artwork and great poems.   

Also at Inspire libraries this summer...

We're going on a Story Hunt with storyteller John Kirk

Online event, delivered via Zoom
Tuesday 10 August, 10am - Ocean Story Hunt
Tuesday 17 August, 10am - Rainforest Story Hunt
FREE, spaces limited so booking advised

Join storyteller John Kirk for this interactive story-based scavenger hunt, perfect for ages 3-7.

Story hunters will need an internet-enabled device to connect to the event via Zoom, a piece of paper, crayons, pens/pencils to draw with and permission to turn their house upside down!

Click here to find out more about the storytelling event and book a place 

Family Theatre - Same Same...But Different

UPDATE 05.08.21:  Due to a dancer being required to self-isolate and unable to perform, we regret that performances of Same Same..But Different are cancelled.  Ticket holders will be contacted to arrange refunds.

Beeston Library - Wednesday 11 August, 10.30am West Bridgford Library - Wednesday 11 August, 3pm 
Library members: £3 / Non-library members: £6

Same Same...But Different is a family show, mixing Kathak, Hip Hop dance, contemporary dance, hints of live music and physical storytelling. Inspired by the well-known Anglo-Asian phrase ‘same, same...but different’, meaning "Yes, something kind of similar, but not the exact same thing”, 3 dancer-musicians conjure a magical atmosphere where we celebrate our individuality, diversity and the bonds which connect us all.

Click here to find out more and book tickets for Same Same...But Different 

Family Theatre - Upswing and the Spark Arts for Children present: Seasons

Beeston Library - Tuesday 24 August, 2pm
West Bridgford Library - Wednesday 25 August, 11am & 2pm
Sutton-in-Ashfield Library - Thursday 26 August, 11am &2pm
Worksop Library - Friday 27 August, 11am & 2pm
Mansfield Central Library - Saturday 28 August, 11am & 2pm
Library members: £8 per tent pod / Non-library members: £12 per tent pod

Immersed in the wild, two acrobats dig, climb and lose balance in a joyful exploration of the nature around us.  Enticing sounds, greenery up above and soil underfoot, the world of SEASONS is full of possibilities. Perfect for children aged 5+. 

Audiences enjoy the show seated in tented pods (accommodates a maximum of 6 people), bring a cushion and a blanket to create your comfy, safe space for this incredible family show.

Click here to find out more and book tickets for Seasons 

Online workshops - Wild Walls and Words workshops

Meet artist Alex Godwin (aka Billy) and author Caryl Hart, Inspire’s artist and author in residence and take part in a FREE online summer workshop. Book your place to collect a pack of materials from the library.

Write a Wild Words Poem – and hear one of Caryl’s stories! 

Workshops with Caryl Hart  | 10.30 am to 11.45 am on
Friday 13 August
Saturday 14 August
Monday 16 August

Draw a Wild Wall Animal – in Billy’s style! 
Workshops with Alex Godwin  | 1.30 pm to 2.45 pm on
Friday 13 August
Saturday 14 August
Monday 16 August

Click here to find out more and book your place for the Wild Walls and Words workshops 

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