Children's library

Summer Reading Challenge 2023

The Reading Agency and Southend libraries are excited to introduce our next summer reading challenge. It's called Ready, Set, Read!

It runs from 22 July to 2 September for children aged 4 to 12. There will also be an Early Years Challenge for children under 4 as part of the fun.

This year's Summer Reading Challenge is a celebration of:

  • reading
  • sport
  • games and play

Children are welcome to join the 'Ready, Steady Read!' superstar team and their animal mascots as they navigate through a fun obstacle course. Along the way, they will gather special golden stickers shaped like books.

By encouraging your child to take part, it:

  • will help boost their literacy skills through the summer holidays
  • allows children to become more independent in their reading and when choosing books
  • encourages imagination and empathy

How to take part

You can take part at any of our six libraries across Southend.

On Sign Up Saturday, children can sign up in any of our libraries from 15 July.

All you need to do is:

  • fill out a joining form which you can collect from the library
  • checkout your books

After reading 6 books, children can collect a certificate and medal from their local library. They will also be entered into a prize draw.

In addition, children can:

  • talk to library staff and volunteers about the books they have read
  • write a review and draw pictures

Drawings and reviews can also be sent to our Library Team by email and will be posted to social media:

  • @southendlibrary on Facebook and Twitter

Please confirm if you are happy for us to publish your child's first name and age.

British Sign Language (BSL) sessions

This summer we are very excited to be able to offer sessions for hearing imparied children to speak to volunteers at The Forum using British Sign Language. Watch the BSL for Deaf children for the Summer Reading Challenge video on Facebook to find out more and ask staff for more details about session times.


If you can't visit the library, children can take part in an online summer reading challenge.

For more information, please contact the Library Team.

Free events!

We have now published a full list of our free library events for this year's Summer Reading Challenge.

Contact library development

Telephone: 01702 534123

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