Is it too early to talk about the Summer Reading Challenge?

With half term on the horizon, the summer holidays will soon be in sight and that means one thing: the annual Summer Reading Challenge!

The theme for 2016 is Big Friendly Read, a nod to one of the nation’s favourite authors, Roald Dahl, and sees the Reading Agency collaborating with the author’s estate in recognition of the Roald Dahl 100 celebrations, also taking place this year.

Taking place in libraries across the country, the Summer Reading Challenge is a great opportunity not just to encourage and continue reading over the holiday months, but to visit your local branch and see what they have to offer.

Norfolk libraries are looking for volunteers aged 13-25 to assist with the delivery of the SRC over the summer. Volunteering sessions take place during the school holidays between the end of June and beginning of September. They’re asking for a commitment of 2 hours per week, though there may be the chance to do more depending on the types of activities your chosen library is running.

Young volunteers are so vital in supporting the Summer Reading Challenge within libraries and it’s a great opportunity to engage with readers young and old. There’s also the chance to be involved as a Reading Hack volunteer and for information about what this role entails, visit

If you know any young people interested in volunteering in Norfolk libraries this summer, take a look at the poster below, visit your local branch or request an application pack via email.

Libraries Volunteer SRC

We’d also like to draw your attention once more to the Shelf Talk blog– written for young people by young people. There’s lots of library-related info, plus updates from Litcham School who are currently blog hosts.

See below for this week’s Friday Reads!

Apryl: Pass It On by Sophy Henn

Pass It OnI’ve very much enjoyed Sophy Henn’s previous books Pom Pom, and Where Bear?, so I was really pleased when this (her newest) arrived in our office a while ago. It’s a wonderfully vibrant tale of the importance of sharing our happy experiences with others; nothing is too big or too small, and who knows? Maybe paying it forward might bring a little positivity to someone else’s day, too! Her unique illustrative style is brilliant and I even picked up on a sneaky Wes Anderson reference which the film geek in me absolutely loved.

(Puffin, £6.99 paperback, ISBN 9780723299868)

Gail: Look Inside the Stone Age by Abigail Wheatley and Hazel Maskell

Stone AgeFor teachers teaching the Stone Age… Usborne have recently published a new book in their ‘Lift-the-flap’ series. Really useful for bring the Stone Age to life! Sections on Making tools, Keeping warm, Art and beliefs, The first farmers, Metal working, The Iron Age. Simple and clear with extra information under each flap.

(Usborne, £9.99 hardback, ISBN 9781409599050, find it here on the NLIS catalogue)

Harriet: Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley

LiesHow harrowing! The first chapters of this book were very painful to read because the author describes, minute by minute, the most awful bullying and threats with no hope of help or reprieve, for a group of black teenagers facing their first day in a formerly whites only school. This novel is set in the early days of integration in southern USA; the animosity and almost universal hatred shown by the white teenagers, teachers and parents are shocking and hard to read, but the author at the back of the book discusses her research and the evidence she used to inform the novel. And it is a novel, but we can believe that for many the difficulties described here were all too real. One of the heroines, Sarah, is a courageous, very believable character, though I wasn’t quite so convinced by her white counterpart, Linda, whose opinions appeared to oscillate sometimes from sentence to sentence. This is still a very intense, interesting read, and it is understandably shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal.

(Mira Books, £7.99 paperback, ISBN 9781848452923, find it here on the NLIS catalogue and on our SLS eBook platform)

Zoë: Moon Phases by Charlotte Guillain

Moon This is an interesting book which clearly and simply explains the moon phases and will readily support the curriculum topic of space for LKS2.

The pictures and diagrams support the text using simple labels and fact boxes, aiding the reader’s understanding. It could also be used to support cross-curricular links in literacy, as it is a chronological text. Other features of non-fiction writing include a glossary and sub-headings.

(Raintree, £4.99 paperback, ISBN 9781474717915)

All of our previous Friday Reads can be found here.




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