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Pictured with Councillor Peacey-Wilcox are winners Carmen Menzies; Claudia; Cody Summers; David Howard; Edward Sun; Esme Cain; Lucy Archer; Milo Bagot; Mya; Nicholas Newson; Sadie Millard and Toby Temple

Just in time for National Libraries Week, the annual Summer Reading Challenge results are in.

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 over the summer break and is aimed at keeping thousands of children reading over the long holiday. Since 14th July, children have been joining the Mischief Makers.

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

Despite the heat this summer, this year’s challenge saw an amazing 2,087 children sign up for Mischief Makers and ran in all 11 of the Island’s libraries, including volunteer-run libraries and the mobile library. An amazing 1,477 children successfully reached the end of the challenge and received a medal and a certificate. This was a finishing rate of 71%– up on the Island’s finishing rate last year of 65%.

Many children read considerably more than 6 books. In total, an eye popping 30,080 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 became Mischief Makers this summer, despite the beautiful weather we had this year. The annual Summer Reading Challenge aims to help children keep up their reading skills over the long holiday.

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“Well done to the Mischief Makers and if any children missed it this year, they can explore the delight of reading in Island libraries all year round – we stock a wide range of free to borrow books for all ages.”

The children were surveyed at the end of the challenge and many were more confident readers as a result and many parents expressed surprise at their children’s keenness to read over the period.

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 12 entries were 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.

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