The Reading Agency reports that like-for-like orders for the Summer Reading Challenge collection are up, “demonstrating libraries’ commitment to this annual promotion," as it revealed its Summer Book Club challenge titles for 2014.
The announcement of this year’s list comes the day before National Libraries Day (8th February).
The theme will introduce “children to fantastical creatures from the world of legend and mythology and invites them to collect stickers of the characters”.
Libraries will be encouraged to seek out local myths and legends, involve heritage groups and storytellers and engage schools in the run-up to the summer holidays.
Titles on the 2014 list include Roger McGough’s An Imaginary Menagerie (Frances Lincoln Children’s Books), and Oliver and the Seawigs (OUP Oxford) by Philip Reeve and illustrator Sarah McIntyre, who has created the illustrations for the Mythical Maze theme, and Giles Andreae’s Sir Scallywag and the Deadly Dragon Poo (Puffin), which is due to be released on 5th June.
The Reading Agency is working with Solus UK on a free mobile application, which will recognise key Mythical Maze illustrations and trigger audio visual content and simple games.
Sue Wilkinson, director of The Reading Agency, said: “The Summer Reading Challenge book collections that we’re announcing for National Libraries Day are examples of the exciting range of books and reading activities on offer at libraries that really inspire children to become enthusiastic readers.
“We have worked with publishers, librarians and children to create and champion these new book collections, so even more children will be turned on to reading at libraries this summer.”
Victoria Duckett, marketing and library services co-ordinator at Askews and Holts Library services, said: “The Summer Reading Challenge book collections list is our biggest sales point for children’s books into libraries in the calendar. Year-on-year sales have dramatically increased, helping to enhance the range of books on offer at libraries. We’re hugely excited about the mythical maze theme, with orders already streaming in.We are confident that this year will be the most successful Summer Reading Challenge ever.”
The Reading Agency said the Summer Reading Challenge “offers value to publishers by unlocking significantly more sales of children’s books to libraries and to library suppliers including Bertram Library Services, Peter’s Bookselling Services and Askews and Holts Library Services who sell the collections”.
It said that in 2013, a total of 79 libraries purchased 1,500 collections, worth £378,402.
A record 810,089 children took part in the 2013 Summer Reading Challenge.