Record number of Islington children complete reading challenge

Islington children have been awarded prizes after a record number of youngsters from the borough completed a national reading challenge.

Nearly a thousand children from across Islington finished the Six Book Challenge, a scheme run by the Reading Agency to get children aged between 4 and 11 to enjoy reading through libraries.

Around 60 children were presented with certificates and medals at the N4 Library on Blackstock Road to reward their success in reading all six books and discussing them with their peers.

Councillor Theresa Debono, the mayor of Islington, said that it was the “best attended” reading challenge event that she had been to and thanked parents for their support.

Stephen Walton, whose daughter took part in the challenge, said: “I think it’s really good to see the kids reading over the the summer. It helps build their imagination.”

Francesca, 7, added: “It helps you ask questions.”

Jennifer Gudge, whose children Ella and James were presented with awards, said: “We’ve done it for the last few years and this year it’s just taken off.”

“They really love it. It’s something really special.”

This year’s theme was Mythical Maze, with the Harry Potter books and The Hunger Games trilogy among those named by the children as their favourite reads.

Nick Tranmer, manager of the N4 Library, said: “It’s an amazing turnout. It’s our best year.”

“It’s driven by the children – children are genuinely enthusiastic. Rather than it being drilled into them, they’ve got to enthuse themselves. It’s about catching the reading bug young.

“It’s proven that if you do well in reading at a young age, you do well at lots of other things later on”.