Local Community News


The annual Summer Reading Challenge results are in and they show that Island children were certainly up to the challenge.

Over the summer holidays, the Isle of Wight Council’s library service set a challenge to Island children: to read 6 books over the 6 week break. The Summer Reading Challenge runs every year and is aimed at keeping thousands of children reading over the long holiday.

This year’s challenge asked children to help solve a mystery by joining Animal Agents and help catch the crook by reading the books. An amazing 2,592 children signed up across all 11 of the island’s libraries, including volunteer-run libraries and the mobile library. This was an increase of 10.5% on last (2,345 children in 2016) and is the third highest figure recorded since the reading challenge on the Island began.

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Some 1,685 children successfully reached the end of the challenge, by reading 6 books over the summer holidays and received a medal and a certificate. This was a finishing rate of 65%, beating last year’s national completion rate of 58%.

Many children read considerably more than 6 books. In total, an eye popping 24,586 children’s books were borrowed from Isle of Wight libraries during the duration of the challenge.

Isle of Wight Council development librarian for young people and lifelong learning, Elspeth Jackson, said:

“We are delighted that so many children were inspired by Animal Agents. The annual Summer Reading Challenge encourages children to discover the delights of reading, and to keep up their reading skills outside school.

“Although this year’s challenge is over, children can continue to explore the pleasures of reading. Island libraries stock a wide range of books for all ages, and they’re all free to borrow.”

The vast majority of children surveyed felt that they were more confident readers at the end of the summer than they were at the start, and many parents commented that they had never seen their children so keen to read.

All children who earned a medal and certificate were invited to write a review or draw a picture of their favourite book of the summer. The best entry from each library has been selected, and the winning children were recently invited to a prize-giving hosted at Lord Louis Library by Isle of Wight Council chairman, Councillor Lora Peacey-Wilcox and Cabinet member for environment and heritage, Councillor John Hobart.

The winners across the Island libraries are: Ellie Attwell; Clarissa Flanders; Lara Hosier; Joshua Hurst ; Olivia Menzies; Sophia Newnham; Tom Newnham; Daisy Parkinson; Mallory Peace; Claudia; Edward Sun and Adam Rutherford.

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