The Reading Agency has announced this year's Summer Reading Challenge theme is the nature-focused Wild World Heroes.
The challenge will launch online in June, with public library launches in June and July.
The charity has teamed up with the World Wildlife Fund to deliver the event across the summer, encouraging children to engage in reading about environmental issues, including plastic pollution and deforestation to wildlife decline and nature loss. Through taking part in the challenge, with free packs from public libraries or online, children will be able to join six fictional characters — "wild heroes" — to help solve some of these threats, learning about the importance of the environment while helping to restore nature levels in the neighbourhood of "Wilderville".
The characters and landscape will be illustrated by children’s author and illustrator Heath McKenzie. Over the summer term, WWF will be offering opportunities and resources for UK public libraries and primary schools to engage with the nature theme.
Karen Napier, c.e.o. at The Reading Agency, said: “We are really delighted to announce WWF as a partner for this year's Summer Reading Challenge. We have seen first-hand, via our children's programmes and our work on the 500 Words writing competition, that climate change and the environment are subjects that children are keen to explore. We hope that this year's theme of Wild World Heroes, chosen by children and public library colleagues, will help to open up important conversations and inspire children and adults across the country.
“We are immensely grateful to public libraries for their continued and longstanding support of the Summer Reading Challenge — and we look forward to continuing to work closely in partnership with them, as well as schools, school libraries, community groups and parents and carers all across the country to encourage even more children to sign up to the challenge, via our physical and digital blended model.”
Tanya Steele, c.e.o. of the WWF, said: “Young people are the future of our planet — and they are some of the most passionate and enthusiastic advocates for our natural world. At WWF, we’re continuously inspired by our young supporters and their efforts to speak up for nature, often in wonderful and creative ways.”
“Children have a huge thirst for knowledge about the environment, and what they can do to tackle the threats to our planet and help nature to thrive. We’re delighted to be partners in this year’s Summer Reading Challenge and hope children across the UK will enjoy exploring life on our planet – the one place we all call home," she added.