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Get gadget-ready for reading challenge!

Elaine Grainger-Jarvis, Hema Acharya and Matthew Vaughan from Leicester Libraries at the reading challenge launch with pupils from Marriott Primary School

CHILDREN and families can take part in a gadget-themed reading challenge over the summer, with a range of events, activities and rewards on offer.

This year, Leicester Libraries’ summer reading challenge is called Gadgeteers. It is focusing on the key role of imagination in reading and in science and innovation. To take part, children just need to borrow and read at least six library books on any topic over the course of the summer.

At a launch event at the National Space Centre on Friday (1 July), pupils from Taylor Road, Marriot and South Kilworth primary schools got the chance to tour the centre’s galleries and exhibitions, take part in themed workshops and storytelling, and be among the first to sign up for the summer reading challenge.

Over the weekend, more children and families got the chance to join the challenge with a pop-up library in the Highcross, offering crafts, storytelling and activities from the Space Centre. The Bookbus also parked up at Jubilee Square to promote the summer challenge.

And from 11 July, visit your local library to create the ultimate gadget and borrow your first books for the summer. Families can also take part by making their own incredible inventions and sharing photos on social media, using the hashtag #GoGadgeteersGo.

Craft activities and themed events for the start of the summer reading challenge will take place at libraries as follows:

  • Monday 11 July: Aylestone, Evington, New Parks
  • Tuesday 12 July: Knighton, Beaumont Leys, Rushey Mead
  • Wednesday 13 July: Belgrave, St Barnabas, St Matthews
  • Thursday 14 July: Central, Highfields, Pork Pie, Westcotes
  • Friday 15 July: Brite Centre, Fosse Centre, Hamilton


Over the course of the summer, a programme of themed activities will support the reading challenge, including free fun days and live family theatre performances in libraries, in partnership with The Spark Arts for Children.

Lee Warner, the city council’s head of neighbourhood services, said: “Thousands of families across Leicester enjoy taking part in our summer reading challenge every year - it’s about reading for the sheer joy of it.

“Last year, we reached more children than ever – almost 10,000 - with our summer reading challenge, and with the chance to take part both online and in our libraries, we hope it will be a great success this year too.

“It’s wonderful to be able to host fun days and activities in our libraries again this year after the disruption of the pandemic. And because everything is free, it’s a great way to entertain children during the long summer holidays without having to worry about costs.”

CJ Bishop, community manager at the Space Centre, said: “It’s great to be part of the Summer Reading Challenge once again. This year’s theme, Gadgeteers, encourages us to think creatively and innovatively, just like a scientist!


“We’re excited to be working closely with our local libraries to bring the National Space Centre to our community during the school holidays. We’re excited to be offering children and their families a range of free activities, including the chance to build their own robot hand and take a closer look at meteorites under a microscope.”

To take part in the challenge, visit your local library anytime over the summer from 1 July and sign up to get your Gadgeteers poster pack and bookmark, and start gathering stickers. Children then have until Sunday 11 September to complete the challenge by reading books borrowed from the library or online from the libraries’ ebook and audio books collections. Once completed, they can collect a certificate and medal.

Adults can also get involved with the Go grown-up Gadgeteers go! challenge. Be a role model and support your children by joining in and reading six books too. Borrow books from Leicester libraries in July and August and enter into a prize draw to be in with a chance of winning £30 worth of books.

As well as the 7,000 Go Gadgeteers Go! packs available free from libraries, a further 3,000 packs will also be delivered directly to families via our partnerships with schools, adventure playgrounds, children’s centres, and Leicester City of Sanctuary.

The annual summer reading challenge is presented by The Reading Agency and delivered by libraries up and down the country.

To find out more, visit