Kingston kids kick off free Summer Reading Challenge in new look library

Summer reading challenge

Seven and eight year olds from St Joseph’s Primary School were captivated by storytelling at the launch of the Summer Reading Challenge, in the newly-transformed Kingston Library on Thursday 13 July.

John Kirk, professional storyteller, brought to life ‘The 100 Mile an Hour Dog’ by Jeremy Strong, tying in with the theme for the challenge this year being ‘Animal Agents.’

The Summer Reading Challenge, which is to read or listen to 6 library books, is mainly aimed at children aged 4 to 11 years old. A special mini challenge for children aged up to 3 years old is also available. Small rewards are collected along the way.

On attending the event, Cllr Julie Pickering, Mayor of Kingston, said:

“To see children so excited about reading was fabulous. They were keen to tell me all about the stories they had heard and what they wanted to read next. My hope is that as many schools and families get involved in this fantastic initiative.”

Cllr Andy Johnson-Creek, Cabinet Member with responsibility for Libraries at Kingston Council, said: 

“We need to make sure our borough’s next generation have opportunities to continue to enjoy learning and discovery through reading during the summer holidays. This is why Kingston has been an active member of the Summer Reading Challenge for almost 20 years and we’ll continue to promote this brilliant scheme to kids in Kingston.”

The Summer Reading Challenge launched nationally on Saturday 8 July and runs until Saturday 16 September. Over 4,500 children in Kingston took part in the challenge last year.

All seven libraries across the borough have been transformed, with new self-service machines being installed and the traditional front desk being removed to allow library staff to focus on helping visitors. The seven spaces also now have more flexible spaces to allow libraries to be used for more.

For more information on the national scheme, visit To find out more about your local library or to contact us, visit