It’s all right to be silly with your summer reading

9 June 2020

Summer’s coming, and while North Yorkshire’s libraries are closed at the moment because of the Covid-19 pandemic, that won’t stop the Summer Reading Challenge, which is always popular with thousands of the county’s children.

This year, the Summer Reading Challenge has gone digital. It’s set in a funhouse with the Silly Squad and is all about funny books, happiness and having a laugh. It features a riotous group of madcap animal characters designed by the award-winning author and illustrator Laura Ellen Anderson, whose books include Amelia Fang and Evil Emperor Penguin.

The challenge is open to all children aged four to 11, who are invited to read anything that makes them happy – whether that be a comic, joke book, poetry, fiction or non-fiction, in digital or print format, an e-book borrowed from the library or what they already have at home.

They can sign up for free at, where they will find brilliant book suggestions and tips on how to keep reading. There will be super silly activities, quizzes, videos, games, a place to keep track of their books and rewards to unlock along the way.

North Yorkshire Libraries has a huge selection of children’s e-books and e-audiobooks that are free to borrow at Library members just need their library card and PIN to download books. If you are not a member, just call 01609 533878 to join for free.

Keep a look out on your local library Facebook page and the @nycclibraries Facebook page for Silly Squad online activities and reading recommendations.

North Yorkshire County Councillor Greg White, Executive Member for Libraries, said:

The Challenge this year is very different, but it’s never been more important to help children to keep reading, so the theme of fun and happiness is just what we need. Last year, nearly 10,000 children in North Yorkshire took part and we hope with the help of free e-books from the library we can encourage just as many to join in this year.

With school life disrupted and many children missing the company of their friends, this year’s Summer Reading Challenge will be even more useful in helping parents and carers to find fun, family-friendly activities to support children in maintaining their reading levels and create a safe space to connect with other children.


Karen Napier, CEO of The Reading Agency, which delivers the Summer Reading Challenge in partnership with public libraries, said:

We’re hugely excited to share our new digital Summer Reading Challenge with families across the country this year. The new digital offering will ensure that families and libraries can still take part in the challenge and help us realise our mission of tacking life’s big challenges through the proven power of reading. In these difficult times, it’s more important than ever that families find ways to have fun and be silly together, while ensuring that children receive the support they need to maintain and build their literacy skills and remain connected with their peers.

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