Libraries across East Sussex are currently gearing up for the annual Summer Reading Challenge, the UK’s biggest free reading for pleasure programme for children.

Taking place throughout the summer holidays (starting on 9 July), the challenge encourages children aged between 4 and 11 to visit their local library and to continue reading over the holidays, which in turn helps them to maintain their reading skills and confidence.

What is this year’s theme?

This year’s theme aims to educate and help children discover the amazing science and innovation behind the world around us. The National Reading Agency has teamed up with the Science Museum Group for a science-themed challenge this year, which will inspire children to use their creativity and imagination!

The challenge will follow ‘The Gadgeteers’, six main characters who are planning an epic summer party.

The core themes for this year’s Summer Reading Challenge are:

  • Everyday science.
  • Invention and creation.
  • Fun with friends.
  • Young heroes.
  • Making the world a better place.

Who can take part?

The Summer Reading Challenge is open to all primary school-aged children, and is a flexible programme designed for all levels of reading ability.

If your child is under 3, they can join the Pre-School Wild World Heroes Challenge. They will receive a collector’s card for stickers, and when they’ve shared 6 books they will get a special medal sticker!

How does it work?

At the library

  1. Children can visit their local library and sign up to the challenge for free. They will then receive their gadgeteers core pack poster.
  2. They set a personal reading goal for the summer (the National Reading Agency recommends six books).
  3. Children can borrow and read books, eBooks, and audiobooks of their choice. They can read anything they like: fiction, fact books, poetry, joke books, picture books, graphic novels, audiobooks…
  4. Special incentives can be collected from the library each time they finish a book (including scented smelly stickers!)
  5. Your child will then receive a certificate and/or medal for taking part, or for reaching their challenge goal.

In addition, East Sussex libraries will be offering a wide variety of events and activities for families to enjoy throughout the summer.

How do I sign up?

Head to to sign your child up for this year’s Summer Reading Challenge.

To take part, your child will need to have their own library card and PIN. Joining your local library is free and extremely simple, join online here or pop into your local library and sign up – all East Sussex libraries have friendly volunteers or members of staff on hand to help with anything.

Keep an eye on the Summer Reading Challenge blog for all of the latest news and updates.

More fun and reading ideas from The Reading Agency


  1. Visit
  2. Children can set a personal reading goal for the summer.
  3. They will then receive book recommendations and tips for accessing books for free at home.
  4. Each time they finish a book, your child adds it to their online profile and leaves a review. They unlock digital badges and online rewards along the way.
  5. Unlock a certificate for reaching their challenge goal.

Children can also play games, enter competitions, share book recommendations, download activities and more on a free, safe, moderated platform.