Summer reading challenge launched

Author Cathy MacPhail with pupils from Laurencekirk, Marykirk, Glenbervie and Fettercairn Schools.'Photo by Ken Taylor
Author Cathy MacPhail with pupils from Laurencekirk, Marykirk, Glenbervie and Fettercairn Schools.'Photo by Ken Taylor

Acclaimed Scottish author Cathy MacPhail joined Aberdeenshire school pupils last week to launch the Summer Reading challenge.

The challenge aims to inspire thousands of children every summer to pick up a book and read it.

The annual Summer Reading Challenge, sponsored by Total E&P UK, was launched on Thursday at Mearns Academy Community Campus.

The theme of this year’s challenge, entitled ‘Amaze Yourself with a Good Book’, is record breakers and aims to encourage young people to explore some of the astonishing real-life achievements and world records featured in the Guinness World Records Books.

The challenge is divided into three age groups: 0-6, 7-9 and 10+. Children aged 6 or under can draw a picture related to this year’s theme while those aged 7 and over are asked to write a story on the theme.

Cathy MacPhail, who has kindly written an opening paragraph to give the young writers a starting point, said: “Step into a different world with a book. When I was little I could visit America during the Civil War, or be with the gods in the Greek myths and legends, and still be home for my tea.

“Now I can follow the clues that lead to a serial killer or live in a zombie apocalypse. I love reading!”

Chair of Aberdeenshire Council’s Education, Learning and Leisure Committee, Councillor Alison Evison, said: “Every year children of all ages enjoy taking part in the Summer Reading Challenge which continues to go from strength to strength each year. I have no doubt that this year’s theme will produce some very inspiring work.”

Around 9,000 school pupils take part each year which is organised by library staff.