The Summer Reading Challenge, Gadgeteers, has started and we have lots of great reading suggestions for you!

The Summer Reading Challenge is run by the Reading Agency for children across the UK and is delivered in partnership with public libraries. It has been running for the past 23 years and aims to foster a lifelong love of reading and tackle the drop off in reading that happens over the school summer holidays. Children are challenged to read as many books as they can over the summer and encouraged to enjoy reading for pleasure.

This year we are encouraging children to read six books, they can read any books they like as part of their challenge, in any format including audio and we cannot wait to hear what they have been reading and chat to them about books!

Children can of course read anything (repeat, anything!) for the Summer Reading Challenge, but we have some exciting Science and Innovation themed books which we have collated specially for Gadgeteers. You will be able to find Summer Reading Challenge themed books in your local Warwickshire County Council Library as well as on our online catalogue.

Here are some recommendations, there is a good mix of Fiction and Non-Fiction this year and I will start with the Non-Fiction as there were so many of these that I wanted to keep when they arrived and hoard like the Book Dragon I am.

Non Fiction Books

You Are 25% BananaA brilliantly funny first guide to genetics that is perfect for children aged 5 years and over. This stunningly illustrated book will boggle your brain with astonishing facts, as it shows how we’re all related to every living thing on the planet. Did you know that a grain of rice has more genes than you? Or that you’re related to dogs, dung beetles and even daffodils? Luckily, even though you’re 99.9% like a chimpanzee, you’re still 100% YOU!

The Really Incredible Science BookThis super-fun science activity book features pop-ups, lift-flaps, and pull tabs that will engage young children with the theories of light, sound, space, electricity, optics, electromagnetics, acoustics, and more!

Science is MagicLearn how to bend water with a balloon, turn water into juice, make a glass beaker disappear in oil, and wow your friends with levitating tinsel! Packed with optical illusions, pranks, and fun facts, this book is a must-have for any aspiring scientist or magician (the two aren’t as different as you might think)!

Each trick is explained using step-by-step photographs, and the science behind each one is showcased clearly and simply. 

The Science Behind Vampires, Witches and GhostsCould a vampire survive on a diet of blood alone? Could a witch really fly on a broomstick when you apply the laws of physics? Can haunted houses be explained by biology? Discover whether the scariest monsters could exist when you apply the hard facts of science.

Science principles come to life through quirky and humorous explanations paired with illustrations that strike a balance between the right amount of gory and funny.

Do No Harm: A Painful History of MedicineFor the gruesomely curious or medically minded, this romp through the history of medicine packs in the fascinating and often macabre ideas and practices employed during humanity’s constant battle against illness and injury. Discover the pills and potions that often did more harm than good, the bizarre treatments and torturous surgeries. As well as finding strange and little-known stories, readers will also develop a deeper understanding of the pioneers and pivotal discoveries that paved the way for the modern medicine we often take for granted today.

Nano: The Spectacular Science of the Very (Very) SmallEverything is made from something – but the way we make things, from the materials we use to the science and technology involved, is changing fast. Nano offers a fascinating narrative introduction to this cutting-edge area of STEM, better known by the name “nanotechnology”.

Fiction Recommendations

Fiction Books

Lightning Mary One stormy night, a group of villagers are struck by lightning. The only survivor is a baby – Mary Anning. From that moment on, a spark is lit within her. Growing up poor but proud on the windswept Dorset coast, Mary follows after her father, hunting for fossils uncovered by waves and landslips: ancient creatures, turned to stone. Ignoring other people’s taunts, Mary faces danger to bring back valuable treasures to help feed her family. 

Wonderscape When Arthur, Ren and Cecily investigate a mysterious explosion on their way to school, they find themselves trapped aboard The Principia – a scientific research ship sailing through hazardous waters, captained by one Isaac Newton. Lost in the year 2473 in the Wonderscape, an epic in-reality adventure game, they must call on the help of some unlikely historical heroes, to play their way home before time runs out.

The Ocean Squid Explorers’ ClubIn a distant watery corner of the Explorers Kingdom, a submarine engineer, Ursula, is determined to become an explorer. Unfortunately, she hides an extraordinary secret, which makes her the sworn enemy of the Ocean Squid Explorers’ Club were they ever to find out . . . But when The Collector threatens the Club, Ursula throws caution to the wind and leads an expedition through treacherous waters, filled with gremlins, aboard the Blowfish submarine – and joined by her friends Max, Genie and Jai – and even her idol Stella!

Fiction Books

The Bear in the Stars‘There was once a bear, a great, white bear – Queen of Beasts. But over the years the ice disappeared, slipping away like sand through an hourglass. Slowly, slowly, one by one, the other animals moved on.’ The great bear has no choice but to leave her snowy realm to search for food, friends and a new home. She soon discovers a world that is growing hotter whilst hearts grow colder – until one small act of kindness changes everything.

InvestiGatorsMango and Brash are the InvestiGators: sewer-loving agents of S.U.I.T. and scourge of supervillains everywhere! With their Very Exciting Spy Technology and their tried-and-true, toilet-based travel techniques, the InvestiGators are undercover and on the case! And on their first mission together, they have not one but two mysteries to solve!

Marv and the Dino AttackIt’s an exciting day for Marvin and his classmates because they are visiting the Natural History Museum. Marvin and Joe can’t wait to see all those dinosaur skeletons up close, but they get more than they bargained for when supervillain Leo turns up and brings the Dino skeletons to life!
With the help of his loyal sidekick, a super-intelligent robot called Pixel, it’s time for Marvin to become superhero Marv.

My recommendations are just the tip of the iceberg of what is available – do be sure to pop into your Library or browse online so that you can see what else we have to offer.

We have a huge amount of Children’s eBooks and eAudio books available through BorrowBox, you can browse the collections in your BorrowBox app.

Beginner Reads

For those learning to read and building confidence with their reading, our Beginner Reads Collection has the perfect collection of books. Our Beginner Reads are split into three colours – Blue for very beginners, Yellow for emerging readers and Green for confident readers. There are lots of interesting and exciting titles to choose from and you can browse by colour on our online catalogue.

Reading Rocks – Reluctant Readers

Reading Rocks

Our Reading Rocks, Reluctant Reader collection is full of interesting and engaging books to suit all ages and abilities. It is a collection of high-interest books, specifically curated to tempt and encourage children to read! Browse the collection on our online catalogue.

You can also ask a member of staff in your local Warwickshire County Council Library to show you where the Reading Rocks and Beginner Reads are on the shelf.

We are very much looking forward to welcoming children back to the Library for the Summer Reading Challenge and hope that they will find some inspiring reads that further them on their journey to becoming lifelong readers.