‘Spine’-tingling summer reading challenge for youngsters

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There’s something creepy going on in Liverpool’s libraries this summer.

The 2013 Summer Reading Challenge is underway and is aimed at youngsters (4 – 11 year olds), encouraging them to read six or more books of their choice.

This year’s theme is Creepy House – and children who take up the reading baton can chart their progress online and aim to complete three tasks called the ‘Awful Upstairs’, the ‘Gruesome Ground Floor’ and the ‘Spine-tingling Cellar’.

Creepy HouseEach child who takes part will receive a large poster of the creepy house, and as they progress through the challenge there are incentives to keep those pages turning, including pungent smelling stickers, a fortune-teller game and a glow in the dark wristband.

The free project has already started and children are encouraged to visit www.summerreadingchallenge.org.uk to sign up. It runs until Saturday 7 September, and those who are successful will receive a certificate and medal.

Liverpool City Council’s cabinet member responsible for libraries, Councillor Wendy Simon, said: “Getting youngsters into the reading habit early on is incredibly important – not only does it improve their literacy levels but also feeds their imagination and gets them excited about picking up a book.

“Last year’s reading challenge was a huge success with hundreds of young people taking part. One of the great results of this initiative is that it gets children used to spending time in their local library and hopefully they will become regular library users in the future.”

The national Summer Reading Challenge is supported by footballer Frank Lampard whose book Frankie’s Magic Football is one of the books on the suggested reading list. He said: “I’m proud to be a champion for Creepy House, and that my book is on the reading list.

“Reading with my children is incredibly important to me and a wonderful way to spend time together as a family. I hope that many boys and girls will be inspired this summer to take up the challenge and enjoy all of the brilliant books available to them at their local library.”

The Summer Reading Challenge is run by independent charity The Reading Agency. It’s expected nationally, around 750,000 four to 11 year olds will take part.

There is a leaflet available at local libraries for parents and carers explaining the benefits of the challenge and giving tips on how that can support their children and get the whole family involved.