Mama OWL Blog: Summer Reading Success

Summer Reading Success

Thursday, 11 September 2014

As such an avid reader, it has always been important to me to try and instil a love of reading in my children. I have enjoyed some success - A has shelves overflowing with books and spent much of her early childhood with her nose firmly in between the pages of her latest read, and H & E seem to share her passion for books too. H is building up quite a collection of titles such as Flat Stanley, the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, and Percy Jackson, and E has her own little book shelf full of her favourites, like The Gruffalo!

Unfortunately, I've not had quite the same level of victory with my older boys. They will read on occasion but mostly they're just not really that interested, which is a shame but I gave it a good go. They have enjoyed some books - like the Skulduggery Pleasant, and Beast Quest series - but on the whole they just prefer doing other things. I think 3/5 isn't too bad going!

The library runs an annual Summer Reading Challenge and is designed to try and keep children aged 4-11 interested in reading during the long school holiday and prevent a 'dip' in their progress, and this year we decided to take part. The theme was Mythical Maze, and the kids are encouraged to read 6 books through the Summer. They can be picture books, audio books, fact books, anything at all as long as they're borrowed from the library.

H chose mostly fact books about cars, trucks, and motorcycles. He enjoyed reading about the world's fastest cars, and about the history of of motor vehicles and learning how engines work. E selected story books that we read together, she particularly enjoyed "I'm not cute!" and "A Rumpus in the Night". Half way through the challenge, they were rewarded with Mythical Maze wrist bands and for each book they read, they received stickers to collect and add to their maps. At the end of the challenge, they finally received their certificates and gold medals which they are both very proud of - and rightly so, too!

It has made me realise that I have completely under-utilised our local library, which is a shame. I plan to rectify that and continue our weekly trips there, because both of them really enjoyed the reading challenge and with the way things are currently I do worry about the "use it or lose it" factor and you never know what vital public service the government will cut next.

I really do think that the Mythical Maze challenge encouraged H & E to keep up their reading during the Summer holidays, and helped to prepare them for heading back to school for a new year, and of course a new start for E! So bring on the Summer Reading Challenge for 2015 - we're ready!


  1. Fantastic! What a great achievement and a good way to keep them enthusiastic about reading over the summer. I must admit we don't use the library, despite the fact that promoting the Summer Reading Challenge every year was part of my old job!

  2. I think it's great to keep kids excited about reading and the Summer Reading Challenge is a great way to promote reading, what kid doesn't have a bit of a competitive streak after all? Well done to H and E for completing the challenge! Dropping in from Magic Moments.

  3. How brilliant!
    My girls took part in this too....We still have to pick up their certificates & medals x

  4. That's wonderful! As a child and adult I loved to read. For me books were a way to escape into my imagination!

  5. This is great! My boys had to complete a reading calendar over the summer, aiming for 150 minutes a week. And the 8yo had to do a reading response too, with it all being handed in on the first day back at school. It seems a lot, but actually, it's quite easy to achieve and it means that they keep reading and you avoid that dip.

  6. Anything that encourages reading has to be a good thing. Have you seen the #ReadOnGetOn campaign? Lovely words and pictures. I aim to use my library much more now we are embarked on the good ship home education

  7. What a brilliant initiative. We don't go to the library enough but my children do like to read. I'm always finding books under their pillows where they've been reading after lights out!

  8. What a wonderful idea, I must look into this next year as we're terrible about using the library and my daughter especially - I've failed a bit to get my eldest to love reading, although he still likes being read to - would love this!

  9. What a great idea, one of the things I miss about the UK is access to the library. My boys love reading and we have loads of books but it's not the same, I used to love the library as a child - all that choice!!

  10. What a great initiative. I don't use our library enough, I should really.. #magicmoments


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