Derby Libraries are getting mischievous for this year’s Summer Reading Challenge, with The Reading Agency.  This year’s theme is Mischief Makers, focusing on the mischief and pranks inspired by and celebrating the 80th anniversary of the much-loved iconic children’s comic title Beano.

The Summer Reading Challenge is the UK’s biggest reading event for children in libraries and it returns to Derby Libraries for 2018. Last year over 3,500 took part in the Animal Agents challenge, with almost 2000 adults and children attending the supporting programme of family events. All Derby Libraries, including those which are community managed, will be running the challenge from Saturday 14 July to Saturday 15 September.

The challenge is for children to read any six library books during the summer holidays. Children are welcome to read any books they like, whether they’re interested in stories, fact books or picture books, and whether they would rather listen to an audio book or read a printed book. It’s up to them!

Children who take part will get a pop out bookmark featuring a character from Mischief Makers, and a colourful Beanotown collector poster once they’ve read their first book. There are six stickers to collect, one for every book read, and a certificate for every child who completes the challenge. Children who venture to reading an extra four books will receive the extra reward of this year’s special Mischief Makers wristband!

Reading for pleasure is one of the most important contributory factors in children’s learning success and their general well-being, and the Summer Reading Challenge is a chance to support them to become confident and enthusiastic readers. The challenge will help to sustain an enthusiasm for reading during the long summer break when children’s reading skills can decline without the regular reading activity at school.

The challenge is supported by a host of free events across Derby Libraries in the summer, including Dennis and the Chamber of Mischief, Mischief Making Max and A Quite Remarkable Adventure. These events will be taking place at Alvaston Library, Mickleover Library, and the new Riverside Library. They will give children and families an opportunity to connect with others in a safe and friendly community setting, helping to build empathy and good social interaction skills.

Families can join storyteller John Kirk on a fun packed, fantastical adventure with everybody’s favourite Beano characters as he retells Nigel Auchterlounie’s Dennis and the Chamber of Mischief. This event is suitable for children aged six and over.

Mischief Making Max will be a fun and interactive adventure discovering the world of mischief and bringing the Summer Reading Challenge to life. Max is 6, and loves making mischief. He is cheeky, cheerful and charming, but with his pranks getting increasingly daring, is he finally about to get caught? This show is presented by Total Insight Theatre and will be suitable for children aged five and over.

Families can come and share Quite Remarkable stories of friendship and imagination with live music, magic and plenty of silliness with A Quite Remarkable Adventure. Local theatre group Quite Remarkable Productions will be delivering this interactive theatre for children aged from two to six years and their families.

The Summer Reading Challenge is open to children at all levels of their reading development, allowing those with special education needs and disabilities to take part as well.  It’s a great time to share and talk about books as a family, leading to the start of children’s lifelong reading journey.

To take part in the challenge children will need to be registered members of Derby City Libraries. Children can register on the In Derby website or in their local library.

Full details about the Summer Reading Challenge, including how to get involved and the events programme can be found on the In Derby website.