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Libraries all set for Big Friendly Challenge

Staffordshire County Council’s Libraries & Arts service is setting a ‘Big Friendly’ challenge for younger readers.

 The Big Friendly Read is this year’s Summer Reading Challenge, and young people are invited to join their local libraries in celebrating 100 years of the world’s favourite storyteller, Roald Dahl.


The annual Summer Reading Challenge encourages children to read at least six books during their long school break.

Those who take part will be able to enjoy free or inexpensive Roald Dahl-themed activities at their local library, a dedicated website and app, scratch ‘n’ sniff collectors’ cards and finally receive a certificate and medal for completing.

Last year over 13,000 children across the county signed up for the scheme with almost eight and a half thousand completing.

Staffordshire‘s Library Leader, County Councillor Gill Heath said this year’s Summer Reading Challenge will definitely put the fun back into reading for young people.

Gill said: “Roald Dahl has been a family favourite for many years, and with the forthcoming movie adaptation of the Big Friendly Giant due in our cinemas later this month, I’m sure his popularity is about to soar.

 “At the county council, we realise how important it is to encourage our children to keep up with their reading over the long school holidays, and the Summer Reading Challenge is one of the best ways to put the buzz back into books.

 “Almost 60% of children surveyed believed they were a better reader at the end of the holidays than at the start of last year’s challenge.

 “And I’m delighted that 685 children became new Staffordshire library members in order to take part in the scheme.

 “Putting the fun back into books entices even the most reluctant readers to get involved, helps them avoid the ‘summer dip’ and go back to school feeling really positive about learning.”

 “So look out for The Big Friendly Read posters featuring the amazing artwork of Roald Dahl’s principal illustrator, Sir Quentin Blake, with some of his best-loved characters.”

Every year Staffordshire Libraries are indebted to young volunteers from across the county who offer their free time to help deliver the reading and activity programme.

Last year 140 volunteers came forward to help, providing invaluable support to both library staff and youngsters taking part.

 The Summer Reading Challenge launches in libraries across Staffordshire on Saturday 16th July.

Children can sign up for the FREE challenge at their local library and will receive a free starter pack.

The Summer Reading Challenge, delivered by Staffordshire Libraries, is produced by The Reading Agency, the independent charity working to inspire people to read more, supported by children’s publishers.


Penkridge Library volunteer 15 year-old Mikey Roberts ready to sign youngsters up for the challenge.
Penkridge Library volunteer 15 year-old Mikey Roberts ready to sign youngsters up for the challenge.
For more information about this year’s Summer Reading Challenge, please visit:

To find out more about Staffordshire Libraries membership for all the family, please visit 



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