Young book lovers will land at Stirling libraries this summer to take part in an out of this world reading challenge.

The Summer Reading Challenge, which runs until Saturday 24th August, encourages children aged 4 to 11 to read six library books during the long summer holiday.

There is a different Summer Reading Challenge theme each year, with this year’s theme, Space Chase, inspired by the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing.

Children taking part in the Challenge will join the super space family, The Rockets, for a thrilling mission to track down books nabbed by mischievous aliens.

Space Chase will feature bespoke artwork from top children's illustrator, Adam Stower, and will celebrate adventure, exploration, reading and fun.

Children can read whatever they like - fiction, fact books, poetry, joke books, picture books, audio books - just as long as they are borrowed from the library.

They receive special rewards each time they finish a book and there's a certificate for everyone who completes the Challenge. Stirling libraries are working with partners The Peak, McLaren Leisure, Balfron Bellrock, University of Stirling, Safari Park and for the first year ever Auchingarrich, who are all offering free activities depending on how many books are read.

The Summer Reading Challenge is open to all primary school aged children and is designed for all reading abilities.

Schools work with local libraries and give out information to encourage children to take part, and Stirling libraries also run a Summer Reading Challenge early years activity for pre-schoolers.

Throughout the Summer Reading Challenge, library staff support children, helping them to discover new authors and explore a wide range of different types of books.

Convenor of the Community Planning and Regeneration Committee, Cllr Chris Kane said: “Completing the Summer Reading Challenge can not only give a child a great sense of confidence from their accomplishment, it can also help make sure they feel ready to start the new school year. This is an exciting way to inspire children to develop a love of reading and books, while continuing to read outside of school.”

Vice Convenor Maureen Bennison said: “Children's reading can dip during the summer holidays if they don't have regular access to books and encouragement to read for pleasure.

“The annual Summer Reading Challenge will help get children into libraries each year to keep up their reading skills and confidence, while offering them plenty of fun with the different space-themed activities in our libraries.”

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