Derby Libraries are set to go wild with the latest Summer Reading Challenge, coordinated by The Reading Agency. This year’s theme is Animal Agents, and children aged up to 11 years old can take part in the challenge, which aims to encourage them to read six library books during the summer holiday.

This year’s Animal Agents theme includes artwork by the UKs best-selling children’s illustrator Tony Ross. The storyline features a detective agency manned by all kinds of clever animals who are investigating some strange goings-on at the local library. Children are invited to help the agents to solve the mystery.

A great aspect of the challenge is that children can read any type of book they like. From fact books to picture books, and audio books to eBooks, children can enjoy reading about what they’re interested in. The challenge is aimed at children with all levels of reading ability, and is inclusive by catering for special education and disability needs.

Those who take part will receive a colourful fold up collector folder and a character sticker for every book they read. Each sticker reveals a new clue to help children solve the mystery. Those who complete the challenge receive a certificate and a colourful zip tag featuring artwork from Animal Agents. There will also be an extra award for children who read a further four books. Children under four years old will receive a collector card and stickers as they read books, and an Animal Agents door hanger for completing the challenge.

Reading for pleasure has been linked as a major contributing factor to learning success and wellbeing. Over summer, reading skills amongst children can sometimes decline, the Challenge is aimed at preventing this and encouraging reading for pleasure.

The Summer Reading Challenge is supported by a programme of free events at every city library  throughout the summer holidays. It includes author events, shows, workshops and craft sessions. Children will need to join up to the Summer Reading Challenge in order to access these extra events and booking is essential. A full list of events and information on how to book is available in all local libraries.

To take part in the challenge, children need to be registered members of Derby City Libraries. Registration is easy and can be done at the local library or online at inderby.org.uk. From Saturday 15 July, parents can take their child to the library to sign up for the challenge.