Summer Reading Challenge launches

Wiltshire children are being encouraged to keep reading during the long holidays as the annual Summer Reading Challenge launches this week.

The theme for this year’s challenge is Creepy House and children from four to 11 are encouraged to sign up to read six or more books over the summer holidays gaining prizes along the way.

Children can sign up for the challenge at Wiltshire libraries from Saturday July 13. As children read the books they collect prizes and rewards, plus a certificate and medal for completing the challenge. All materials are free for the scheme which runs until September 7.

This year a 250-strong army of volunteers will be listening to the children talk about the books they have read for the challenge and handing out the prizes along the way.

Sarah Hillier, children’s librarian at Wiltshire Council, said: “The challenge is all about developing and sustaining a love of books and reading, and about sharing that reading, with families and friends. It’s also a great fun way of helping children to develop their reading skills by trying out new books and receiving rewards along the way. It really does make a difference.”

A parent of a seven year old from Bradford on Avon said; “I can’t say how much the reading challenge has helped my daughter..she is dyslexic and the challenge has been a real turning point for her. At the beginning of the summer she had only just started reading chapter books, by the end she was an avid reader – going on to read 12 books on her own over the summer. It was as if a switch flipped and turned her into a reader!”

Cabinet member for libraries Jonathon Seed said: “This is a hugely popular and successful reading activity for children, and we look forward to welcoming even more children into our libraries this year to participate in it. I would also like to thank all the volunteers who give their precious time to support this programme. Their time and commitment is greatly appreciated.”

The library service will also be running a Creepy library short story and cartoon competition for four to 16 year olds. Children can either write a short story or create their own cartoon based on the theme of creepy library. There will be three winners in each category; short story and cartoon, who will each win Chris Riddell books. (Chris is the illustrator for Creepy House) The age groups will be 4-7, 8-12, 13-16. The closing date is September 7.

There are large print Summer Reading Challenge materials available for visually impaired children, thanks to the support of the RNIB National Library Service. For further information on Wiltshire libraries and the summer reading challenge go to


Children’s activities running alongside the reading challenge:


Bradford on Avon library

‘Creepy Story time’ at Bradford on Avon for the duration of the Summer Reading Challenge (Thursdays 4.30pm July 11 –  Sept 5)


Calne library

Saturday July 13

Creepy House Launch

Join the reading challenge and stay for activities

All day

Saturday August 3

Once Upon a Saturday presents

Hairy MacLary and Friends

10.30-11.15am – For 4-7yrs

Thursday August 15


Stories and crafts

10.30-11.30am – For 4-7yrs

Tuesday August 20

The Creepy Cat Caper!

Dewey the Library Cat is missing, become a junior detective to discover whodunit

10.30-11.30am – For 7-11 yrs


Chippenham library

“Gromit Unleashed”1st July – 8th September

Chippenham library have a very special vistor this Summer. Gromit! Sheldon school is supporting the Grand Appeal for Bristol’s Children’s Hospital and have let us look after their Gromit which has been beautifully designed and painted by Alice Tedds and Grace White, Year 9 students. 

Funnybones activity

Stories and crafts for 4-7 year olds

TuesdayJuly 30, 10.30 – 11.30

The Creepy Cat Caper

Dewey the library cat is missing, become a Junior Detective to solve the mystery, for 7-11 year olds

Monday August 12, 2 – 3

Not too Creepy Silly Stories

For 4-7 year olds

Tuesday 20th August, 2 – 2.30


Malmesbury library

Tues August 6 “Funny Bones” activity, Key Stage 1, 10.30-11.30

Tues August 20 “Wolves” activity, key Stage 2, 2.30-3.30


Melksham Library

‘Creepy Story time and Spooky Mask activity’

Monday July 29 10.30am.


Mere Library

 Saturday August 17  10.30-12.00 noon.

Creepy House – Creepy Mouse – Stories and activities for 4-8 year olds – Indoor activity to find the Mice in the Library and return to the ‘Creepy House’.


Salisbury Library

Monday July 29 10-12 and 1-3

Catastrophic Kitchen – Sam’s Sandwich

Storytime and craft session for children of all ages

Monday August 12 5-6.30pm

Brooding Bedroom – Ghost Knight Pyjama Party

Evening activity celebrating Cornelia Funke’s Salisbury-based tale. For children aged 7-11.

Limited places. Free tickets will be available for collection from the Children’s Library three weeks before the event.

Wednesday August 21 10-12

Spine tingling cellar- funny bones

Storytime and craft session for children of all ages

Warminster Library

Funnybones stories and Creepy House crafts

For children aged 4-11 years

Tuesday July 30


Burglar Bill stories and crafts

Come dressed in your stripey top!

for children aged 4-11 years



Westbury Library

Join us if you dare for the Creepy Library Tour!

for children aged 7-11 years

Thursday August 1


Westbury Library

Funnybones stories and creepy House crafts

for children aged 4-11 years

Tuesday August 20 11.00am – 12.00pm 


Amesbury Library

Creepy Library:

Tuesday July  30 2-2:45pm

Stories & crafts with a creepy house theme! Ages 4-11

Amesbury Library’s 40th Birthday teddy bear’s picnic:

Tuesday August 20 3pm Help us celebrate with a special teddy bear’s picnic. For all ages


Devizes Library

Diary of a Wimpy Kid:

Thursday August 1 11-11:45,: Stories, crafts and games based on the bestselling series by Jeff Kinney.  Ages 4-11

Creepy Library:

Thursday  August 8 11-11:45

Stories, crafts & fun with a creepy house theme! Ages 4-11

How to train your dragon:

Thursday  August 15 11-11:45

Dragon stories & crafts based on the popular series by Cressida Cowell. Ages 4-11


Marlborough Library

Creepy Library:

Saturday July 27 11-11:45

Stories & crafts with a creepy house theme! Ages 4-11

How to train your dragon:

Saturday August 3 11-11:45

Dragon stories, crafts & games based on the popular series by Cressida Cowell. Ages 4-11

We’re going on a bear hunt!:

Saturday August 10  11-11:45

We’re not scared! Activity based on the evergreen story by Michael Rosen. Ages 2-7


Pewsey Library

Creepy Library:

Thursday August 1 2-2:45pm

Stories & crafts with a creepy house theme! Ages 4-11.

How to train your dragon:

Thursday  August 8 2-2:45pm

Dragon stories, crafts & games based on the popular series by Cressida Cowell. Ages 4-11