Authors including Anne Cassidy and Jacqueline Wilson are encouraging children to recommend their favourite books as part of a new Summer Reading Challenge ‘pass it on’ campaign.
This year, the challenge’s organisers, the Reading Agency, want thousands of children to recommend or pass on a book to their friends or family, and in turn make sure one of the books they read this summer is one that has been recommended to them.
To promote the campaign the Reading Agency will post videos of famous authors recommendingtheir favourite books on the Summer Reading Challenge website. Cathy Cassidy recommends Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli while Jacqueline Wilson picks Rooftoppers by Katherine Rundell.
“Rooftoppers… is a delightfully stylish, original book that is a real page turner,” said Wilson.
Other authors lined up to take part include Eoin Colfer, Cressida Cowell, Liz Pichon, Rick Riordon, Sarah McIntyre, Michael Rosen, Anthony Horowitz and Michael Morpurgo.
This year is also the first time the Reading Agency has created an app for the challenge. Developed by digital company SOLUS, the app will provide children with extra content and there are four games – Minotaur Maze, Gallant Garuda, Yee-Haw Yeti and Prance Prance Unicorn – as well as a ‘menagerie’ selection of digital stickers.
The theme of this year’s challenge is ‘mythical maze’, so 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.
A record 810,089 children took part in the 2013 Summer Reading Challenge.