north yourkshire county council largeNorth Yorkshire libraries are encouraging young people to read for pleasure and get more involved in their library in support of the BBC’s Awesome Authors campaign, which is promoting children’s books and encouraging children to read more or to try something new.

Children aged between four and 11 can take part in North Yorkshire’s summer reading challenge, which this year is called the Big Friendly Read and which starts on Saturday, 16 July.

Participants can collect prizes, scratch-and- sniff collector cards and a medal, just by reading six books over the summer holidays. Children will be able to sign up for the challenge at their library from 16 July.

As one girl who took part last year said: “My favourite book was Snug by Michael Morpurgo. If I hadn’t done the challenge I wouldn’t have found this wonderful book.”

Young people who are too old for the reading challenge can get involved in running activities at their library by joining the Reading Hacks. This could include helping to run the Big Friendly Read, setting up a children’s reading group or hosting a story time. Anyone who is interested should speak to staff at their library.

Reading Hacks are always keen to share their favourite books. Emma says: “Mr Stink by David Walliams is a hilarious book with a really good plot.” Bethany’s favourite book is Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll. She says: “It is one of the books that inspired me to start writing. I love the book and the author for opening my mind to things that couldn’t happen in reality.” Megan, 13, says her favourite book, Matilda by Roald Dahl, inspired her to start going to the library.

The top ten junior fiction authors in North Yorkshire libraries are:

1. Julia Donaldson

2. Daisy Meadows

3. Fiona Watt

4. Adam Blade

5. Enid Blyton

6. Francesca Simon

7. David Walliams

8. Jacqueline Wilson

9. Jeff Kinney

10. David McKee

Julia Donaldson also has the two most borrowed titles, What the Ladybird Heard Next and The Scarecrow’s Wedding. The ninth instalment of the ever-popular Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, The Long Haul by Jeff Kinney, is at number three.

The non-fiction chart shows how popular Minecraft is with North Yorkshire children, with six of the top ten titles being Minecraft-related. Roald Dahl’s biography, The Great Mouse Plot, is the highest performing non-Minecraft book, coming in at number three.

Whatever books children and young people are looking for, they can browse the shelves at their library, speak to library staff or browse the online catalogue at www.northyorks.gov.uk/libraries. If books are already on loan, children can request them for free.

County Councillor Chris Metcalfe, Executive Member for Library and Information Services, said:

“Whatever your plans are for the summer, it’s worth making some time for settling down with a good book. Call in at your local library and ask our friendly staff and volunteers for inspiration about what to read next.

“For those who are eligible, the summer reading challenge is a great incentive to encourage children to read and use libraries over the holiday, ensuring their reading skills don’t dip over the long summer break. And if you’re a little bit older, Reading Hacks offers a great opportunity to get involved in your library.”