Banbury kids urged to take up reading challenge

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Banbury MP Victoria Prentis is supporting a campaign run by charity The Reading Agency to encourage all primary school children to take part in this year’s Summer Reading Challenge.

The initiative is a unique partnership between The Reading Agency and public libraries, including Banbury’s, across the UK to encourage reading among primary school-age children. Last year over 780,000 children got involved by borrowing, reading and talking about their favourite books.

This year’s challenge is delivered in collaboration with The Roald Dahl Literary Estate, to celebrate 100 years of the world’s favourite storyteller. “The Big Friendly Read” will feature some of Roald Dahl’s best-loved characters and the famous artwork of his principal illustrator, Sir Quentin Blake.

To take part, all children need to do is sign up at their nearest Oxfordshire library. They will then receive a special collector’s folder and, as they borrow and read at least six library books over the summer, they can collect six special cards towards the challenge.

The cards all feature original Quentin Blake illustrations and explore some of most popular themes in Roald Dahl’s books such as invention, mischief and friendship.

Mrs Prentis said: “My children and I love reading books, particularly over the summer. The Summer Reading Challenge provides the perfect opportunity for children to read and talk about the books they borrow from their local library.

“Last year, 8395 children in Oxfordshire took part in the Summer Reading Challenge; I really hope even more children will get involved this year, and make use of their local library.”

Children can use the special website to find out more and get suggestions about what book they should read next via the digital Book Sorter which already offers over 500,000 peer to peer children’s book recommendations in child-friendly categories.

Families, libraries and schools can also download a free mobile app, which will use the original Quentin Blake illustrations to trigger audio clips, including rare recordings of Roald Dahl sharing his writing tips and reading aloud, and unlock game content.