Summer Reading Challenge

Every year Northamptonshire Libraries deliver the Summer Reading Challenge for 4 to 11 year olds.

Children reading in a library

The Summer Reading Challenge theme for 2022 is Gadgeteers. The Reading Agency have teamed up with Science Museum Group for a very special science-themed Challenge that will inspire children to use their imagination and creativity!!

What do you love doing? Are you a brilliant baker? Or a mega music fan? Are you the tech wizard amongst your friends? Join the Gadgeteers for the Summer Reading Challenge to discover the amazing science and innovation behind the world around you, including some of your favourite things!

Why should I join in?

Studies have shown that children's reading can 'dip' through the long summer holidays if they don't have regular access to books and are encouraged to read for pleasure. The annual Summer Reading Challenge aims to get children reading for enjoyment and promote the use of the fabulous online resources that their local library provides.

The Summer Reading Challenge encourages children to read for pleasure. It combines free access to books with fun activities, that can be completed at home, and a creative online element. At the heart of the challenge is children choosing and sharing any books - in any format - that they like. Novels, fact books, picture books, graphic novels, joke books, all count. 

These can be borrowed from your local library or from one of the library's e-book and e-audiobook providers. This year you can also read, or listen to, books that you already have at home.

Northamptonshire Libraries have two e-book and e-audiobook providers, Borrowbox and Libby, who children can borrow books from. More information can be found on our e-Reads and audio page. Children have full access to all the e-lending stock on these platforms, including adult titles, so parents and carers should supervise what their children are borrowing.

How do I join in?

Just pop along to your local library from 9 July and sign up. If your child doesn't have a library card they can become a member on the day or anytime before. They don't need to bring any identification, but under 16s will need their parent or carer's permission. Once they have a library card they can start borrowing straight away and access a wonderful world of books and audiobooks, as well as our free e-Reads and audio.

If your child only wants to borrow eBooks and eAudiobooks they can apply to be a virtual library member online. Full information, and the online application form, can be found on our virtual library membership page.

How does the challenge work?

Children can sign up to the Summer Reading Challenge in their local library any time from 9 July and collect their free Gadgeteers pack. The challenge is to read, or listen to, six books over the summer and collect special smelly stickers along the way. When six books have been read they earn a finishers certificate and medal. It's fun, it's local and best of all, it's free!

Adult reading challenge

Adult readers can also join a challenge to read, or listen to, 6 books over the summer, with the For the Love of Books - Summer Six challenge. Join in LibraryPlus libraries from 9 July, and if you want to broaden your reading horizons you can choose books from our six suggested categories. If you complete the challenge you can enter a prize draw to win a £20 voucher for which supports independent bookshops.

It would be fantastic if teachers, parents and carers, and grandparents could take part in the Summer Six challenge and be reading role models for children taking part in Gadgeteers.

Find out more about For the Love of Books - Summer Six

Summer activities

All North Northamptonshire Council and West Northamptonshire Council Statutory libraries are running a series of events and activities for children this summer alongside the Summer Reading Challenge. Visit your local library for more information, or check the events calendar for times and dates. Our events are popular so booking may be required - contact your local library for details.


Aged 14 plus? Why not spend some time this summer volunteering at your local library to help out with the Summer Reading Challenge? It’s a great chance to meet new people, gain experience in working with children and it looks great on your CV or UCAS form! All of our Summer Reading Challenge volunteers are guaranteed a fantastic volunteering experience. Ask at a North Northamptonshire Council or West Northamtponshire Council Statutory library for more information.

Find out more

For more Gadgeteers activities you can visit the official Gadgeteers website.

The Summer Reading Challenge is produced annually by The Reading Agency and delivered by libraries.