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.