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Devon Libraries & Devon’s Crealy Launch the “The Big Friendly Read” to inspire children this summer

Posted on 19 Jul 2016

This summer holiday Devon Libraries are challenging children of all ages to take part in their Summer Reading Challenge – part of a national programme coordinated by The Reading Agency.

Inspired by the works of Roald Dahl, and to celebrate his 100th birthday, this year’s theme is “The Big Friendly Read” and Devon Libraries are launching their challenge with a special event at Devon’s Crealy Great Adventure Park this Saturday 16th July.

Aimed at children aged from 4 to 11, “The Big Friendly Read” runs in libraries across the UK and it is completely free. Children are challenged to visit their local library and read 6 books through the holidays to earn rewards and on completion they receive a medal and certificate. The first 250 children to sign up at Exeter Library will receive a limited edition Crealy draw string bag to keep their books in.

Kate Mackenzie from Devon Libraries says, Every year we run this challenge and it never fails to capture the imagination of so many children. We are keen for people to come along to their local library during the long summer holiday to see what fun and creative places they can be. Children love the Summer Reading Challenge because it is fun, parents love it because it is a free activity, and schools love it because it helps children keep up their reading skills through the holidays. With such an exciting theme this year we are delighted to have Crealy’s support for the launch.”Josh Haywood, General Manager of Devon’s Crealy continues, “We are delighted to host the launch of “The Big Friendly Read” with Devon Libraries at the Park. Buddy Bear will be joining us to help with story time and there will be plenty of fun activities to inspire the children.”

The Summer Reading Challenge is one of many campaigns being delivered by Libraries Unlimited, the mutual who took over the running of Devon Libraries in April. Ciara Eastell, CEO says, “We are delighted to be running the challenge this year, it’s a wonderful way of getting our children and young people reading for fun through the holidays and a great opportunity to celebrate one of our most loved children’s authors. We have had great success with the challenge with over 12,000 children taking part in Devon Libraries last year past. This year we’re hoping to increase the number of children finishing the challenge so that it is our best year yet!”

About the Summer Reading Challenge.

Every year, thousands of families all over the country take part in the UK’s biggest reading event for children in libraries..

Children can read whatever they like during the challenge, earning stickers and rewards and there’s a medal and certificate for everyone that finishes.

The Summer Reading Challenge is designed for all reading abilities. Devon Libraries are working with local schools to give out information to encourage children to take part. Children and families are encouraged to pop into their local library instead where many libraries are offering their own exciting launch events.

There are lots of resources online for children and parents/carers about the Summer Reading Challenge. They can help children keep track of their reading not only during the challenge, but all year round as well as find new books to read, take part in competitions and play games.

Further details about the Summer Reading Challenge including a fun YouTube film can be found at

Libraries Unlimited believes…

…in the unlimited potential of library services to make a positive difference to people’s lives and communities through a shared love of reading and access to high quality information and facilities.