THERE is great news for young bookworms today, Friday July 17, as the summer reading challenge is launched in Wales by the education minister and the deputy minister for culture, sport and tourism.

The annual challenge aims to get children between the ages of four and 11 to read six books over the summer holidays.

This year’s challenge sees a shift to a new bilingual digital platform, supported by library e-lending services, online events and links to existing digital resources. The challenge includes both English and Welsh-medium books.

The theme of the challenge this year is Silly Squad and will celebrate funny books, happiness and laughter. Children taking part in the challenge will join the Silly Squad, an adventurous team of animals who ‘love to have a laugh and get stuck into all sorts of funny books’.

Last year, more than 37,000 children from across Wales took part in the challenge. Over 3,000 children joined libraries as new members, and 33,000 children took part in library events.

Education minister, Kirsty Williams, said:

“As a book lover myself, I know what a great pleasure it is to read over the holidays.

“Each year, thousands of children join libraries because of the summer reading challenge, which is a really good way to develop reading skills, discover new authors and gain a lifelong passion for books.”

Deputy minister for culture, sport and tourism, Dafydd Elis-Thomas, added:

“I’m really pleased the Welsh Government can support libraries with this year’s challenge. The scheme has become an annual event for many children, who look forward to taking part every year.

“I’d like to thank all of the library staff involved in making the Summer Reading Challenge such a success in Wales.”

Nicola Pitman Chair of the Society of Chief Librarians Wales, said that readers could use libraries’ eBooks, comics and magazines to download and the click and collect services across the country would help readers access library books safely.”

With a new-look website offering lots of great resources, ideas and incentives, we love how easy it is to sign up online and get started,” she said.

“We’re looking forward to everyone getting silly and joining the summer reading challenge squad.”

Further information can be found on the summer reading challenge website: