Kids’ book talent scary

Casey Grainger, 11, Heather Bellwood from Hartlepool Library Services, Milly Best, 10, Alex Crawford, 9, Emma Sotheran, 8, and Samuel Crawford, 6
Casey Grainger, 11, Heather Bellwood from Hartlepool Library Services, Milly Best, 10, Alex Crawford, 9, Emma Sotheran, 8, and Samuel Crawford, 6
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YOUNG book-lovers enjoyed a successful reading campaign as part of a national challenge.

Hartlepool Central Library played host to reading and art sessions as part of the Creepy House Reading Challenge.

It was created by well-known children’s author and illustrator Chris Riddell, and run by the Reading Agency in partnership with the Arts Award.

More than 1,300 Hartlepool children aged between four and 12 have taken part in this year’s nationwide reading challenge, which requires them to read at least six books during the school summer holidays, in return for stickers, medals and certificates to reward their efforts.

At Hartlepool’s Central Library some of the town’s young readers had the chance to finish their challenge and to complete the Discover and Explore Arts Award in a series of workshops which proved to be a big hit with all involved.

Heather Bellwood, Hartlepool Borough Council’s children and young person manager, said: “We had a great turnout at the events at the library, the kids and parents were all really enthused by what was on offer and we’ve had really good feedback so far.

“I think the popularity of the challenge dispels a number of myths about children’s attitude towards reading.

“There’s a myth that they’re all wired into their computers and video games, but we’ve had a wonderful summer in the library and the turnout has been excellent.”

Susan Sotheran, from Kildale Grove in Seaton Carew, whose eight-year-old daughter Emma took part, said: “She’s either reading a book or writing one. When I was young you were frightened to go into the library because you weren’t allowed to make a noise.

“It’s so different now and this is a great way to get kids to come here.”

This is the 15th annual Summer Reading Challenge organised by the Reading Agency.

It says that throughout the country more than 750,000 children will visit a library as part of the project.

For the first time this summer the Reading Agency has teamed up with Trinity College London to offer the added incentive of the Arts Award.

To gain the award, young book-lovers have to complete the Summer Reading Challenge as well as a series of tasks outlined in a special logbook.