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Join the Animal Agents for summer reading challenge

Published on Monday, June 26, 2017

A GANG of cartoon animals with a penchant for solving mysteries is hoping to enlist the help of Leicester children and young people for this year’s summer reading challenge.

The Animal Agents – featuring a curious bloodhound, two stealthy snakes, an investigative rabbit and a clue-busting bear – are descending on city libraries from Saturday 1 July to herald the start of the annual scheme to encourage children to read over the summer holidays.

Join the Animal Agents to investigate your local library on Saturday July 1, solving mysteries, cracking codes and letting your imagination run wild. The summer challenge is open to anyone aged 0-15 and all you have to do is visit your library three times and read six books to win animaltastic rewards.

Participants get a free collector folder and then, on each visit, a series of free rewards including stickers, a wristband, finisher’s medal and certificate.

The launch events on July 1 will run from 11am-3pm in most city libraries, and from 10am-1pm at Beaumont Leys Library, New Parks Centre and Pork Pie library and community centre. There will be the chance to track down Animal Agents characters hidden around the library and borrow your first books for the scheme.

The BookBus will also welcome visitors to Town Hall Square on July 1, from 11am-3pm. Drop in to pick up your Animal Agents collector’s folder and listen to stories.

Later in the summer, as part of the reading challenge, there will be themed family fun days in libraries across the city. There will also be a big fun day at Curve on Tuesday 1 August, with performances, workshops, readings and activities.

Plus there’ll be an opportunity to experience live theatre in local libraries throughout the summer, thanks to a partnership with the Spark Arts for Children  and an exciting new play called Sylvia South and the Word Catcher.

And the city school with the most children completing the reading challenge will win a special day of imaginative story and drama-based educational activities.

Cllr Kirk Master, assistant city mayor responsible for neighbourhood services, said: “There are lots of activities going on for the summer reading challenge, and they’re all fun, free and suitable for a wide age range. Because they take place at libraries across the city, you won’t be far away from a local activity in your neighbourhood.

“The summer reading scheme is good for combatting holiday boredom and it encourages children to read for pleasure, which is a great gift to pass on to them.”

Cllr Sarah Russell, assistant city mayor responsible for children, young people and schools, added: “We know how popular our summer reading scheme is, with around 7,000 children taking part in the scheme last year.

“Evidence shows that children who continue to read over the summer do better when they go back to school in September.

“It doesn’t matter what children read – they can choose anything. The important thing is simply to keep reading over the summer, and the activities and incentives of the summer reading challenge are the perfect way of encouraging this.”

The summer reading challenge is a national initiative organised in partnership with the Reading Agency. For activities, games and the chance to read about popular authors, go to

To join the library or find out more about Leicester’s libraries, visit

You can also keep up to date with all the summer reading scheme news and events at or on Twitter @leicesterlibrar