Chance for children to become detectives this summer through reading challenge

Great Yarmouth library. Picture: James Bass

Great Yarmouth library. Picture: James Bass - Credit: Eastern Daily Press � 2009

Children across Norfolk are being invited to become animal agents and crack a case as they dive into books this summer.

Youngsters aged four to 11 can sign up to Animal Agents, a national summer reading challenge, which will see them able to borrow and read six library books to earn stickers and a medal for completing the challenge.

The Animal Agents theme is based on a detective agency staffed by animals, who set out to crack a case through the books they read.

To take part, children need to sign up at their local library, where they will be given a collection folder to keep a record of their reading. As children read at least six books, they will collect stickers which will see them crack clues and help the Animal Agents uncover a mystery.

Jan Holden, head of Norfolk County Council's library and information service, said: 'Summer is a time when children's literacy skills traditionally dip.

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'The reading challenge is fun, free and helps children keep up their reading throughout the summer holidays in an exciting and engaging way.'

Launch parties will be held across libraries on Saturday, July 15, and the challenge runs until September 4.

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Margaret Dewsbury, chairman of the council's communities committee, said: 'Last year's summer reading challenge was hugely successful.

'Learning to read, and keeping it up, is so valuable for children and we anticipate Animal Agents will also be hugely popular.'

Young library volunteers, aged 13 to 25, will be on hand in many libraries to help children choose their next reads.

Events in Norfolk will include animal themed story times, Gruffalo parties, crafts, bounce and rhyme, detective academies, quizzes and bug walks.

Sue Wilkinson, chief executive of The Reading Agency, said: 'We believe that everything changes when we read and we know from our research how much fun families and children have when taking part in the challenge.'

A separate reading challenge for 10 to 18-year-olds, ImagiNation, is also running in libraries throughout the holidays.

• For details about local summer reading challenge events or more information, click here.

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