Summer Reading Challenge 2023: Ready, Set, Read!

Summer Reading Challenge 2023: Ready, Set, Read!

Picture of Amy Lee

BY: Amy Lee
12 Jun 2023

Each year, we’re excited to work with The Reading Agency on the Summer Reading Challenge. The Summer Reading Challenge is the UK’s biggest reading for pleasure programme for children aged 4-11, presented by The Reading Agency and delivered in partnership with libraries. The challenge supports children who want to achieve Arts Award Discover during the summer, whilst reading some new books! Read on for how the challenge works, details on this year’s theme, Ready, Set, Read! and how you can gain your Arts Award Discover from taking part.

How does it work? Doug[1]

To complete the Summer Reading Challenge, young people need to read six library books over the summer holidays. Libraries will also be offering all sorts of extra fun activities, including Arts Award! Summer Reading Challenge activities can be used towards Arts Award Discover, however young people don’t need to have read all six books to achieve their award. The Challenge begins in Scotland on Saturday 24 June and in England and Wales on Saturday 8 July.

The Challenge is proven to significantly improve children’s reading confidence, making sure they are ready for their return to school in the autumn. It also gives families the chance to access books and fun family activities throughout the summer – all for free. The Challenge reaches around 700,000 children each year, and 75% of children taking part last year improved their reading skills over the holidays.*

What’s this year’s theme?

Ready, Set, Read! This year’s Summer Reading Challenge is all about games and sports. Children will join a fictional team (and their animal mascots!) as they use their skills to weave their way through a summer obstacle course.

Developed in collaboration with the Youth Sport Trust, the 2023 Summer Reading Challenge will celebrate play and participation, encouraging children to engage in games and sports in any way that best suits them. Ready, Set, Read! will showcase how reading can be active and engaging, and can itself involve teamwork and community. The Challenge is brought to life by the brilliant children’s writer and illustrator, Loretta Schauer.

There is an official Ready, Set, Read! book collection which was created with the expert help of librarians, teachers, book industry experts and representatives from the Youth Sport Trust, who reviewed a huge number of publisher submissions and selected the very best. The booklist features 55 brilliantly diverse titles, encompassing picture books, early readers and middle grade titles and includes several dyslexia-friendly books.

In Welsh, the Challenge name is Ar eich marciau, Darllenwch! An official Welsh-language book collection is also being developed in collaboration with Books Council of Wales. Check out The Reading Agency website for further updates and information.

How does Arts Award Discover link to the Summer Reading Challenge?

To help you on your journey, we’ve created some free resources you can download. The Discover Info Sheet gives an overview of the Summer Reading Challenge and Arts Award, and can be consulted first. The mapping resource can be used alongside the bespoke activity sheets during the challenge – young people can fill out the activity sheets which cover the evidence needed in the Trinity Toolkit to successfully complete the Award.

Don't forget you can include drawings, posters and photos alongside the activity booklet as evidence for Discover! Many more resources for delivering Discover can be found on our Arts Award Adviser Hub.

Please note Arts Award Discover portfolios must be assessed by a trained Arts Award Adviser before ordering certificates. For more information please visit our website:

Enjoy your Summer Reading Challenge journey and best of luck reaching your reading goals!

*The Reading Agency (2022) Summer Reading Challenge 2022: Annual Report

Request a free support session
Comments & Replies

Related posts