Join the Silly Squad Summer Reading Challenge

Gina Murphy / Categories: News

Join the Silly Squad Summer Reading Challenge

Monday, 6 July 2020

The Summer Reading Challenge is a great time to share and talk about books as a family and celebrate your child’s reading achievements. We know that reading for fun improves literacy and will help your child at school (and later in life too!).  Joining the Challenge is also a great way to encourage motivation during such a difficult time.

The Challenge has changed this year due to COVID-19 restrictions and instead of children joining via their local library and reading library books, sign-up is online and any books can be read.

By getting involved in the Summer Reading Challenge, your child can:

  • Improve their literacy. We know that reading for pleasure contributes enormously to the acquisition of literacy skills
  • Support their studies. Reading for pleasure is one of the most important factors in children’s ongoing academic success
  • Improve their wellbeing.  Reading for pleasure improves your mood and acts as an escape from life’s problems
  • Learn to understand others and empathise with their point of view. Studies have also found that those who read for pleasure have higher self-esteem and are better able to cope with difficult situations
  • Have a great time! Joining thousands of other children across the country, reading books, sharing their thoughts, and taking part in some great activities

How to join the Challenge:

  • Join online through the Summer Reading Challenge website.
  • It’s completely free to join and all of the resources available are free, too!
  • Children can get rewards, play games and earn badges as they read
  • Children can rate and review the books they read
  • The website features video content, games, quizzes and digital and downloadable activities
  • Check out the Home Zone on the Silly Squad website for families which includes step-by-step instructions on how to join as well as ideas for activities.

Which books can I read?:

  • Although this year’s theme is Silly Squad, children don’t just have to read funny books, they can read anything they’re interested in – fiction or information
  • The books this year do not have to be from the local library, they can be from a bookshelf at home, or can be borrowed from a family member or friend
  • Encourage your child to read comics, joke books, poetry books and story books
  • E-books count too. Manchester Libraries has been adding to the children’s e-book selection on Borrowbox. It’s free to use and you don’t have to have a physical library card. Information on how to get started.

Manchester Libraries Reopening Plans

There will be a phased reopening of certain library branches across Manchester from 4th July, although they will be operating reduced hours and services.
Families will be able to borrow books, but there will be no activities or events and a limit on numbers entering the buildings will be in place, so please be aware there may be queues.  

More information on reopening and to check if your local library is available to visit.

Manchester Libraries’ Activity Programme

Manchester Libraries is supporting the Summer Reading Challenge with nine weeks of online activities. These include weekly Draw-Alongs with Nick Sharratt, weekly poetry with Dommy B and storytelling, crafts and other simple activities to do together either at home or school. Visit the Manchester Libraries Facebook page each day at 11.00am or catch up on any of the sessions you’ve missed by visiting the Manchester Libraries Youtube Channel.

See who is involved in our Silly Squad Crew and check out the weekly schedule.

Showcase your Talent and Win with our Silly Squad Competitions!

Children are encouraged to get involved in two competitions being held to celebrate the Summer Reading Challenge, with the chance to win a Kindle Fire!

Book Reviews: Why not encourage your child to write a book review? A template can be downloaded from the website, or you can create your own.  Children should think about the characters, the plot and how the book made them feel.

The Silly Squad Made Me Do It! Our second competition invites children to show us any work or creations they have made at home or school after watching the short activity videos uploaded by Manchester Libraries on Facebook and YouTube.

Full details of the competitions and how to enter can be found at the Manchester Libraries Blog.

You can find further information about the Summer Reading Challenge at

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