More than 12,000 children have registered for Essex Libraries’ ‘The Big Friendly Read’.
Organised by the Reading Agency to encourage access to books through the summer holidays, the annual summer reading challenge is the UK’s biggest annual reading promotion.
And with this year marking the 100th anniversary of the birth of Roald Dahl, the challenge has been renamed the Big Friendly Read in celebration of the author’s work.
Children taking part are able to register at their local library, where they will be able to receive a free activity pack, and find details on the challenge to read six books over the summer holiday.
They can collect special rewards as they complete books, and a website, summerreadingchallenge.org.uk, will allow them to keep track of the books they read as well as write reviews, enter competitions and chat to other readers.
Cllr Anne Brown, Cabinet Member with responsibility for Libraries at Essex County Council, said: “Every year the summer reading challenge grows bigger and bigger, and it is fantastic that we are already seeing huge numbers of participants all over the county.
“To support the challenge we have a number of events and activities taking place across the summer, ranging from poetry writing to visiting authors, craft sessions, and treasure hunts.
“The best way of getting involved is simply to visit your local library and see what they have on offer.”