Award-winning children’s author Alex McCall and Glasgow-based author and illustrator Alison Murray have joined forces with Glasgow Life to launch this year’s Tesco Bank Summer Reading Challenge Scotland, in Glasgow.
Run by charity The Reading Agency, in partnership with library services and Tesco Bank, the Challenge involves children aged 5-12 joining the library and reading six books during the summer holidays, a time when children's literacy skills can dip with potentially damaging effects.
Councillor Archie Graham, Chair of Glasgow Life, said: “A love of reading, and an enthusiasm for engaging with our libraries, is one of the greatest gifts we can give our children.
“The Tesco Bank Summer Reading Challenge Scotland is a fantastic initiative that enables us to nurture important reading skills, which will stand our children in good stead throughout their lives.
“Libraries are very often at the heart of their communities, and this year each of our libraries will be creating fantastic opportunities for young people to engage with reading throughout the summer holidays. I would urge all young Glasgow residents to visit their local library to take part in this year’s challenge.”
Each year the Challenge is based around an exciting new theme to inject fun and creativity, motivating children to read for pleasure. This year’s theme 'Record Breakers' invites children to discover some of the astonishing real-life achievements and world records featured in the Guinness World Records Books.
Collecting stickers as they go, young readers will discover weird, wonderful and wacky records from around the world in six different categories: Cool Tech, Way to Go!, The Big Stuff, Animal Magic, People Power and Action! Adventure!
Alex McCall, whose book, Attack of the Giant Robot Chickens, won the prestigious Scottish Children’s Book Award for younger readers, is one of Scotland’s youngest authors. Alex said: “I’m thrilled to support the launch of the Tesco Bank Summer Reading Challenge Scotland. It was an initiative like this that got me interested in reading to begin with. As such, I know just what a positive impact it can have on young people.”
Glasgow-based illustrator and author, Alison Murray, added, “I am delighted to support Glasgow’s Tesco Bank Summer Reading Challenge because I’ve spent many a rainy Glasgow summer’s day with my daughter in our local library, and been incredibly thankful for it.
“No matter what the weather, reading can take you on an exciting adventure from the comfort of an armchair. As well as this, the Tesco Bank Summer Reading Challenge Scotland invites you to use and support your local library, a hugely valuable community asset.”
Since 2011, the Tesco Bank Summer Reading Challenge Scotland has been drawing children into their local libraries and inspiring them to read for pleasure. It combines free access to books with fun social activities and a creative online element.
Last year over 2,300 young people across Glasgow took part in the initiative and this year libraries across the city will be hosting an array of exciting events and activities to help even more youngsters engage in the programme.
Free ‘Record Breakers’ activities will be delivered in libraries across Glasgow, including innovative storytelling events, action-packed workshops and craft sessions, with library staff on hand to support children, helping them to discover new authors and explore a wide range of different types of books.
Young Glaswegians can borrow books from any of Glasgow’s 32 community libraries, and the Mitchell Library, by signing up for a free Glasgow Library card or Kidz Card at their local library.