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The Summer Reading Challenge goes virtual

Wirral Libraries are encouraging local families to join The Summer Reading Challenge virtually this year – making the most of online ‘books’ while libraries are temporarily closed.

The annual challenge, that runs from June to September, is a national initiative presented by the Reading Agency that attracts thousands of children across Wirral every year with the aim to get them reading over the summer.

Although libraries may be temporarily closed members of Wirral Libraries can borrow e-books and e-audio books online free of charge from Borrowbox and Overdrive. If you are not already a member of the library, you can join by visiting

Designed for children aged 4-11 years, the Summer Reading Challenge theme for 2020 is ‘The Silly Squad’. The aim is to encourage children to read books that make them happy and to celebrate funny books and happiness.

As well as encouraging children to read, the challenge can keep them entertained at home with a variety of activities where they can win rewards, complete quizzes and take part in videos and games.

Cllr Julie McManus, Cabinet Member for Community Services at Wirral Council, says: “Whilst the current circumstances mean that the annual challenge is a little different this year, this is a great opportunity to help keep children engaged with reading.

“The 2020 challenge is all about reading books that make us feel happy and celebrate fun and laughter, which I don’t think could come at a better time. The last few months have had, and continue to have, a significant impact on the borough and it is important that we remind ourselves, and our children, that books can offer escapism at difficult times.”

Families can get started by visiting the challenge website and signing up for free at any time over the summer. Children can pick their own avatar, discover books to read from The Silly Squad Book Collection, unlock badges as they move through the challenge and use a special book sorter to help choose the best book for them.

Award-winning children’s book author and illustrator, Laura Ellen Anderson, created the bespoke illustrations for Silly Squad 2020.

The Summer Reading Challenge website is free to access and a place for children to rate and review the books they are reading as they progress towards their reading goal.

The Summer Reading Challenge is supported by public funding by Arts Council England.