Thousands of children from all over the country took part in the summer reading challenge in 2019, celebrating 20 years since it was launched. The theme was the space race to mark 50 years since the moon landing, with original art work by the popular children’s illustrator Adam Stower. 

In Wales, The Reading Agency and public libraries succeeded in reaching 37,469 children during the school summer holidays as part of the annual challenge which is endorsed by parents, teachers, the Books Council of Wales and the Welsh Government. 

With increasing pressures on public libraries in terms of staffing and resources, it’s encouraging that libraries can still help so many children to keep up with their reading during the holidays, with 62% going on to complete the challenge of reading six or more books. 

Here are the figures for 2019 in a nice tidy list! 

  • 37,369 children across Wales took part 
  • 2,563 of these were under 4 years old and took part using specially designed resources for pre-school
  • 23,174 children completed the challenge by reading at least 6 library books (62%)
  • Only 1 in 4 boys reads outside the classroom every day
  • 45% of the summer challenge readers were boys
  • 3,240 children joined the library as new members
  • 33,240 attended various events at libraries

*In 2020, the Summer Reading Challenge had to be moved online because of the pandemic. 

An infographic showing participation in the 2019 Summer Reading Challenge