Form your Silly Squad for this year’s Summer Reading Challenge

Last year's Summer Reading Challenge saw a record number of participants, with more than 2,300 children signing up to the challenge, and nearly 1,700 going on to complete it.

St Helens Library Service is once again calling on young bookworms across the borough to take part in the UK’s biggest reading for pleasure programme over the summer.

Organised by The Reading Agency and delivered by public libraries, the Summer Reading Challenge is an Arts Council-funded initiative which asks children aged 4-11 to read six books over the summer holidays before the start of the new academic year.

With libraries across the UK currently closed due to Covid-19, this year’s Summer Reading Challenge – the theme for which is ‘Silly Squad’ in recognition of funny books, happiness and laughter – has been moved online. Participants have up until Tuesday 1 September to complete the challenge.

To celebrate this year’s launch on Wednesday 1 July, St Helens Library Service is hosting a very special online performance of Roald Dahl’s ‘The Twits’ via YouTube at 2pm – while many more silly sessions will be held throughout the day through the Library Service’s Facebook page.

  • 10am – Let’s Get Silly Read and Rhyme Time
  • 11am – Silly Squad Mayhem (craft)
  • 1pm – Silly Squad Page Turners

A spokesperson for St Helens Borough Council said “The Summer Reading Challenge is one of the biggest and most popular events on the Library Service calendar, with more than 2,300 children registering last year and nearly 1,700 going on to complete the challenge, in what was a record-breaking year for us.

“Reading is such a wonderful gift that should be encouraged from an early age, for it can only have only positive effects on a young person’s development. That’s why the council will continue to support initiatives like the Summer Reading Challenge as it introduces future generations to the fascinating and creative world of literature.

“I’d like to take this opportunity to thank our library staff for all their fantastic work throughout lockdown as they have adapted the library service incredibly to allow residents to enjoy everything the service has to offer from the comfort of their own home.

“From the home delivery service scheme which has proved to be a godsend to so many that are housebound or shielding, to the hundreds of families that have still been able to enjoy the much-loved Read and Rhyme Time sessions through social media – St Helens Library Service has been there throughout it all.”

To register for the Summer Reading Challenge, visit

Book and reserve your place for The Twits performance, suitable for families with children aged 4 and over, by visiting




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