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More than 1,900 Island children have signed up for this year’s Summer Reading Challenge.

Since 14th July, children have been joining the Mischief Makers, the Summer Reading Challenge 2018, for a great summer of reading. It’s free to join and every child who completes the challenge will receive a medal and a certificate.

This year’s challenge celebrates 80 years of the much-loved comic Beano and invites children to explore a map of Beanotown to find a hidden treasure chest full of pranks, becoming ultimate mischief makers.

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As children read books, they get special stickers, some with mysterious smells! By adding these to their map, young readers will help Dennis, Gnasher and friends solve clues and discover the treasure, having lots of fun and adventures along the way.

Councillor John Hobart, Cabinet member for environment and heritage says:

“This year’s Summer Reading Challenge has certainly captured the imaginations of children and it is great to see familiar characters such as Dennis and Gnasher being given a new lease of life to the younger generation.

“We have all grown up with these characters and I wish our Island children the best of luck in becoming a new generation of ‘Mischief Makers’ and completing the challenge.”

Elspeth Jackson, the Isle of Wight Library Service development librarian, adds:

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“It has been great, welcoming potential ‘Mischief Makers’ to our libraries, for this year’s Summer Reading Challenge.

“As always with the challenge, the focus is firmly on fun and makes sure children continue to improve their literacy skills over the long summer holidays. The scheme runs until 8 September, so there’s still plenty of time to join.”

Mischief Makers runs throughout the summer holiday in all Island libraries, including the mobile library and the community libraries run by volunteers, and open to children of all ages.

The annual Summer Reading Challenge plays an important part in keeping children’s literacy levels up over the summer, a time when they traditionally drop. At the heart of the challenge is the principle that children choose their own books, which helps them see reading as pleasure rather than as a chore.

Any books count: fiction or non-fiction, easy or hard, old favourite or new author. Even struggling or reluctant readers can take part, and receive a reward for reading – a great boost to their confidence.

Last year 2,592 children took part in the Animal Agents, the Summer Reading Challenge 2017, with an amazing 65% of them successfully reaching the end of the challenge and earning their medal.

Children can also visit https://summerreadingchallenge.org.uk/ where they can chat, get reading recommendations, review their books and enter competitions.

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