This summer, children from all over the UK will be flocking to their local libraries to take part in a special reading challenge – and this is one top secret mission they’ll all choose to accept!
For the eighth successive year, The Summer Reading ChallengeTM organised by the Reading Agency, encourages children to make the most of the long summer break by paying a visit to their local library. Here, they will receive a colourful boredom-busting Reading Mission pack. Featuring two intrepid young special agents and their lovable dog, all the visuals focus on the latest hi-tech developments reflected in UK libraries and have been commissioned by The Reading Agency using the illustrations of Matthew Robson.
Designed to look like a metallic special agent attaché case, the folder opens up to reveal its top secret content and explain how the mission works to the children who sign up for the challenge.
Inside, special agents discover three missions that will test their powers of observation, their ingenuity and their logic with specially-devised activities. Parts of the mission are explained in code so agents can use the code-buster included in their pack. But cracking codes and solving puzzles is just one aspect of the dual mission – the agents also sign up to read books, keep track of their reading, write reviews, and spread the word about how good books are using special ‘top secret’ message cards!
To encourage agents to complete their challenge, there will be Mission Accomplished medals and certificates* to be distributed. And libraries will also offer a host of branded items to promote the challenge to local children including fridge magnets, pens, and bookmarks*.
· As well as helping children discover the pleasure and excitement of reading, this initiative encourages them to read and discuss books in a lively and engaging manner, making the most of their local library during the summer when they will have more time to take advantage of its facilities.
· The Reading Mission promotes a sense of achievement among young readers, and taps into the current trend for detective/special agent/activity books. It also empowers children by encouraging them to make their own book selection, taking full advantage of the library professionals on hand to help advise them, and share their choices with their peers.
· By completing their mission, children have a genuine sense of achievement associated with the library. Last year, more than 600,000 children took part in The Reading Voyage, and over 300,000 read 6 or more books during the summer.