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An out of this world adventure with Derby libraries


(Photo credit: Dave Warren)


Derby libraries are launching into outer space for their Summer Reading Challenge 2019.

This year’s theme is ‘Space Chase’, an out-of-this world adventure inspired by the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing.

The storyline features super space family The Rockets on a thrilling mission to track down books stolen by mischievous aliens.

The Summer Reading Challenge is for children aged up to 11 years old, and is the UK’s biggest library reading event for children.

All libraries in Derby (including those which are community managed) will be running the challenge from Saturday 13th July until Saturday 14th September.

The challenge is also being supported by free Space Chase events across Derby libraries in the summer.

Activities being offered include performance storytelling, animal handling workshops and interactive shows for under-5s.


The challenge

The challenge is for children to read any six library books during the summer holidays.

Children can read any books they like – whether they’re interested in stories, fact books or picture books, and whether they would rather listen to an audio book or read a printed book or an e-book.

Children who take part will get a free Space Chase collector folder, with clues to help find the aliens, uncover the missing books and complete the mission.

There are six stickers to collect, one for every book. When they complete the challenge children will receive a certificate and a special pair of Space Chaser glasses.

Those who read a further four books will receive the extra reward of a Space Chase wristband.


Enthusiasm for reading

Reading for pleasure is one of the most important contributory factors in children’s learning success and their general wellbeing.

The Summer Reading Challenge is a chance to support youngsters to become confident and enthusiastic readers.

It will help to sustain an enthusiasm for reading during the long summer break when children’s reading skills can decline without the regular reading activity at school.



A series of free-of-charge events will take place at Alvaston Library, Mickleover Library and Riverside Library. Booking is essential for all of these.

They will give children and families an opportunity to connect with others in a safe and friendly community setting, helping to build empathy and good social interaction skills.


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This year there are five events on offer:

(1) Families can join storyteller John Kirk for ‘If You Believe…’ where he will tell a trio of stories including Jonathan Emmett’s Bringing Down the Moon, Simon James’ The Boy from Mars and a specially commissioned story by Dom Conlon called The Cow that Jumped over the Moon.

This event is suitable for children aged four and over.

(2) Sammy’s Space Adventure will be a fun and interactive adventure off in space. Sammy is six, and loves space.

It’s her biggest wish to visit the moon and this time round, it might just happen. This show is presented by Total Insight Theatre and will be suitable for children aged four and over.

(3) John Kirk will be bringing a new direction to Roald Dahl’s The Enormous Crocodile and children everywhere will enjoy finding out how the enormous crocodile became the first reptile in space!

This event is suitable for children aged four and over.

(4) Families can come and share ‘Quite Remarkable’ stories of friendship and imagination with live music, magic and plenty of silliness.

Geoffrey Jumper and his friend Mandy will present a whirlwind, magical storytelling adventure.

This interactive theatre will be delivered by local theatre group Quite Remarkable Productions and is suitable for children aged from two to six years.

(5) Children can join the Zoolab team this summer and be inspired by amazing animal space facts at the hands-on Space Race animal handling workshops.

They can meet and handle a range of exotic animals including stick insects, tree frogs, corn snakes, tarantulas and giant African land snails.

The Zoolab events are suitable for children aged four and over.


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The Summer Reading Challenge is open to children at all levels of their reading development, allowing those with special education needs and disabilities to take part as well.

To take part in the challenge children will need to be registered members of Derby City Libraries. Find out how to register children at a library.

Full details about the Summer Reading Challenge, including how to get involved, book onto events, and the events programme will be available online.


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