South Tyneside CouncilThe well-loved classic books of Roald Dahl are set to inspire youngsters across South Tyneside to discover the magic of reading this summer.

South Tyneside libraries, together with The Reading Agency, are celebrating 100 years since the birth of the world’s favourite storyteller to encourage young readers to take on this year’s national Summer Reading Challenge.

The annual initiative is designed as a fun way of encouraging children aged four to 11 years-old to keep reading during the summer holidays by challenging them to read at least six library books of their choices over the school break.

Children can collect stickers and rewards along the way and enjoy a range of fun activities including storytelling and crafts as well as have the chance to win some fantastic prizes.

The Big Friendly Read will encourage young bookworms to explore themes such as invention, mischief and friendship which are explored in Roald Dahl’s most famous books including the BFG, James and the Giant Peach and The Witches.

Councillor Alan Kerr, Deputy Leader of South Tyneside Council with responsibility for Culture and Leisure, said: “Roald Dahl’s books are a portal into a world of imagination for children and adults alike. His stories are timeless and touch on important themes for children to learn about from the strength and importance of friendship to the thrill of inventing new things.

“We would urge children of all ages and reading abilities across the Borough to get involved with this year’s summer reading challenge and discover the magic of Roald Dahl’s, read about their favourite characters and discover new ones.

“Reading is such a rewarding and fun pastime that helps children develop language skills and their understanding of the world around them.

“The summer reading challenge and the activities in our libraries over the school break are ideal for children to beat the boredom during the school holidays.”

The Big Friendly Reading Challenge is running until Friday 2 September, and those children who complete the challenge by reading six or more books will receive a certificate and a medal.

The initiative run by The Reading Agency since 1999, takes part every year during the six week holidays in libraries across the country.

For further information about The Big Friendly Summer Reading Challenge or for full details of activities at libraries in South Tyneside this summer visit www.southtyneside.gov.uk/libraries, call(0191) 424 7885 or pop in libraries for a leaflet.