Alison Thewliss MP supports Summer Reading Challenge

Alison Thewliss, MP for Glasgow Central, is supporting a campaign run by Scottish libraries, Tesco Bank and The Reading Agency to encourage children to take part in this year’s Tesco Bank Summer Reading Challenge Scotland.

The annual Tesco Bank Summer Reading Challenge Scotland, run by national charity The Reading Agency in partnership with Scotland’s libraries and Tesco Bank, encourages children to read at least six books of their choosing over the summer holidays, a time when children’s literacy skills traditionally dip. This year the initiative follows on naturally from the inaugural First Minister’s Reading Challenge which runs during term time, helping to contribute to a continuation of children’s reading in the break from school.

Research shows that reading for pleasure is a more powerful factor in life achievement than socio-economic background, and that children who use libraries are twice as likely to be above average readers.

The Challenge is a unique partnership between The Reading Agency and public libraries across the UK which last year got over three quarters of a million children borrowing, reading and talking about their favourite books.

This year’s challenge theme is Animal Agents, based on a detective agency staffed by all kinds of clever animals – furry, scaly and slippery – who are out to crack a case with a little help from their friends. Tony Ross, the UK’s best-selling children’s illustrator (including creator of the Little Princess books, illustrator of the Horrid Henry series by Francesca Simon, and books by David Walliams and Claire Balding), has created this year’s exclusive artwork.

To take part, all children need to do is to head to their local library where they will be given a collector folder to keep a record of their reading journey. Children that read at least six library books over the summer, will collect stickers which will give them helpful clues to crack the case and help the Animal Agents find out what’s really been going on!

Alison Thewliss MP said: “I hope parents, grandparents and carers in Glasgow will take their children to the library over the summer to sign up for the Tesco Bank Summer Reading Challenge Scotland. The challenge is free, inclusive and makes reading fun – a vital ingredient in building literacy.’

Sue Wilkinson, CEO of The Reading Agency said: “At The Reading Agency, we believe that everything changes when we read and we know from our research how much fun families and children have when taking part in the Challenge. This year we hope the wonderful characters created for us by Tony Ross will inspire more children than ever to take part and make use of their local library throughout the summer and beyond.”

Adele Mills, Senior Community Investment Manager at Tesco Bank said: “Reading for pleasure is one of the best ways to spend the long summer holiday so we’re delighted that over 40,000 children from across the country will get involved in the Tesco Bank Summer Reading Challenge Scotland through their local library. The Challenge aims to inspire children to pick up and enjoy reading books – something that will undoubtedly have a positive effect on their future.”

For more information on the Summer Reading Challenge including how to get involved and resources for schools, go to

Follow the Summer Reading Challenge at and on Twitter @readingagency #summerreadingchallenge

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