Around 10,000 Wiltshire children took part in this year’s Summer Reading Challenge, joining the Animal Agents detective agency at their local library.
The Summer Reading Challenge, now in its 16th year, supports reading over the summer break, with 4-11-year-olds encouraged to borrow and read any six library books from their local library during the holiday period.
9,365 children registered to take part, with 5,773 completing the challenge by reading six books, an excellent 62% completion rate. More than 35,000 books were read in Wiltshire by all the children taking part.
The Animal Agents theme, created by best-selling children’s illustrator Tony Ross, saw a detective agency staffed by clever animals who aimed to crack a case at the library with a little help from their friends.
As well as encouraging children to read over the summer, the challenge also attracted around 200 more volunteers, who joined Wiltshire Council staff and library volunteers to help with the extra demand the Summer Reading Challenge brings.
One six-year-old, who took part in the challenge in Bradford on Avon, said: “I really liked the reading challenge because it made my reading improve and I read more books than I normally do.”
John Thomson, Wiltshire Council cabinet member for libraries, said: “This popular annual event is vital to encouraging children to read and improve their literacy.
“I would like to thank the hard work of all our library staff and volunteers, who give their time and energy to ensure that the Summer Reading Challenge was a huge success.”