CHILDREN are gearing up to take on this summer's reading challenge - and it's urging them to learn more about science and innovation.

The popular Summer Reading Challenge has returned to Hampshire libraries with a ‘Gadgeteers’ theme.

There are certificates and medals to be gained as books are read, and one lucky winner will receive a Samsung tablet.

Hampshire County Council’s executive member for recreation Russell Oppenheimer said: “It is a great way to engage and capture the imagination of children across the long school holidays.

"All types of reading counts towards the challenge including books read to children at bedtime, audiobooks played on a journey, or the fun of comics. Library staff and volunteers are on hand at all 40 of our libraries across the county to help children.”

Romsey mum Helen Hurst, 39, was with her son at Romsey Library this week.

She said: “It is my son Brey’s first year of signing up to the Summer Reading Challenge.

“I encouraged my children to get involved because it’s a good incentive to read, they love stickers, and they receive a medal at the end, and it also gets people into their local library to keep them going as well."

Another mum at Romsey Library Lucy Voller, 33, said: “We first saw the challenge within the lockdown years, so my daughter Ellie got involved with it then and Teddy has just turned five so this is his first year doing it. Teddy loves anything from books."

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Hampshire Libraries’ Summer Reading Challenge helps around 20,000 children to read for pleasure over their school break and is aimed at children aged four to 11 years old, but younger children can also take part in the Reading Stars scheme.

To take part in the challenge, children are asked to read six books. As the books are read, children earn stickers for their collector pack, and at the end of the challenge, young readers earn a certificate and a medal. This year there is also a chance for one person to win a Samsung Galaxy tablet.

The scheme has also joined forces with Winchester Science Centre to offer even more activities.

Ben Ward, chief executive of Winchester Science Centre, said: “I’m so pleased that Winchester Science Centre has been able to get involved with the Summer Reading Challenge. Our charity want to make STEM - science, technology, engineering and maths - accessible to everyone and where better to start that than through books.”

To find out more go to or visit your local library in Hampshire.

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