The Summer Reading Challenge is usually the biggest Children’s promotion in the UK Public Libraries calendar. Each year we try to engage as many children as possible with the joy of books and reading and help them become life long readers. Children’s reading can often ‘drop off’ during the extended absence from school and The Summer Reading Challenge was created as a way to keep children reading and reward and encourage them for their efforts.

Obviously we like to promote reading all day every day, to everyone and anyone but the summer holidays are usually the time that we can really share our enthusiasm with, and look forward to hearing from, our youngest customers about their reading. This year, due to current circumstances, we are looking at a very different Summer Reading Challenge, one that is digital. Children can sign up online, find recommendations, record their reading, play games and collect virtual rewards through the Challenge website:

All reading counts – children really can read anything (I’ll say it again for emphasis) all reading counts! A unique feature this year is that children can set their own challenge, so if you have a small person for whom reading two books might be an achievement, they can set this as their target.

Every year there is a theme for the challenge and this year it is Silly Squad – I think we all need a little levity this summer so the theme is perfect for this. Silly Squad is about embracing all that is silly and encouraging us to read and laugh together.

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What to Read?

If your children are anything like my son, you really can never tell what is going to capture their imagination and inspire them into epic feats of reading. My son happened to be looking over my shoulder a few weeks ago as I was compiling a list of Silly Squad reads for our catalogue and he liked some of the titles. I asked if he wanted me to get some of them and he was really keen to read Sam Wu is Not Afraid of Zombies and My Parent’s Cancelled My Birthday. He also wanted to read Tom Gates as his friend had recommended this series (I’m still smiling happily at the thought of ten year old’s swapping reading recommendations) – we tried the first one, The Brilliant World of Tom Gates. These books inspired him to take part in the Summer Reading Challenge and he has been really enjoying the interactivity of the website, as well as the reading, he’s onto book four!

We know it is not easy choosing books when you cannot browse the shelves in the Library so we’ve gathered together some great BorrowBox eBook collections to help you. You may still prefer to Click and Collect your books from our Libraries that are open and offering this service: Click & Collect.

We have also created a handy Summer Reading Challenge page where you can find a link to the online challenge as well as events and reading ideas: Summer Reading Challenge.

If you’re looking for some help finding your next read with your child then you could try the Summer Reading Challenge Book Sorter or BookTrust Bookfinder.

Have a browse of our eBook collections below and don’t forget that BorrowBox is available 24/7 and has a fantastic collection of eAudio titles as well as eBooks to help keep your little ones (and not so little ones) engaged. If you need help getting started with our Digital Library you can email or watch our BorrowBox Basics video onYoutube.

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The Road to the World Cup  Running on Empty    Johnny Ball: Accidental Football Genius

This Moment Is Your Life  Tennis Shoes  Gloves Off

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Lightning Chase Me Home  Varjak Paw  The Last Zoo  The Infinite Lives of Maisie Day

The Call of the Wild  Buried Fire

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Chester Parsons is Not a Gorilla  Mr Gum and the Biscuit Billionaire  Fangs Vampire Spy

Sam Wu is Not Afraid of Spiders  The Great Dodo Comeback

Charlie Changes into a Chicken

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Amelia Fang    The Naughtiest Unicorn on a School Trip  The Unicorn Quest

Eragon     The Girl with the Dragon Heart    Dragon Daughter

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A Ceiling Made of Eggshells  Viper’s Daughter   Invisible in a Bright Light  Anna at War

To The Moon  Flight

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The Somerset Tsunami    Lightning Mary      The Republic of Birds

The Garden of Lost Secrets  The Polar Bear Explorers’ Club  The Last Zoo

Even more ideas?

We know that for some titles, you might find there is a bit of a wait. However, we do have titles that you should be able to download straightaway on BorrowBox. At the moment, you’ll find the below titles on eBook, available with no waiting. You’ll also find other titles available with no waiting on eAudio. These titles change periodically so if one catches the eye of your readers, download it!

When you borrow a book on BorrowBox, your loan is for three weeks. At the end of three weeks, it will return itself but if you finish with it sooner, you can return it early. You’ll find the button in your ‘My Loans’ list and it means that someone else will be able to discover the title you’ve just finished.

Harpercollins No Waiting Junior titles

This turned into a bit of an epic post. If you have read to the end – thank you! I hope that this will help you and your children choose some fantastic summer reads and that it might inspire some of you to check out our BorrowBox eBooks with your children and that they in turn are inspired to join the summer reading challenge!