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Wiltshire Council libraries are calling for children to read six books as part of the Mischief Makers Summer Reading Challenge 2018.

The challenge asks four to 11-year-olds to borrow and read any six library books over the summer. The Mischief Makers theme is inspired by the Beano comic, which is celebrating its 80th anniversary.

Children will explore a map of Beanotown to find a hidden treasure chest full of pranks and become ultimate mischief makers!

As children complete books they will receive stickers, some with mysterious smells. By adding these stickers to their map, young readers will help Dennis, Gnasher and friends solve clues and discover the treasure, having lots of fun and adventures along the way.

Children can sign up at their nearest library where they will receive a membership card and once they’ve read their first book, a colourful collector’s map of Beanotown to keep a record of their journey.

Mischief Makers launches in libraries across Wiltshire on 14 July and runs until 8 September. Wiltshire will again be supported by approximately 250 volunteers of all ages who help the children taking part in the challenge.

Wiltshire Council is hoping to top last year’s participation, when 9,370 children took part in the Animal Agents-themed challenge. Together they read 39,019 books.

There will be children’s activities in a number of Wiltshire libraries over the summer. Bradford on Avon library host the town’s Mini Book Festival for children on 14 July. Malmesbury library stage their Children and Young People’s Book Festival from 30 July to 2 August.

Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue service will also offer story times in a number of larger libraries for families with young children based on keeping safe around water over the summer.

Sue Wilkinson, CEO of The Reading Agency, explained, “Everything changes when we read and we know from our research how much fun families and children have when taking part in the challenge.

“Mischief Makers offers intergenerational appeal and we hope this family-friendly, accessible theme will inspire more children than ever to read over the holidays and make use of their local library throughout the summer and beyond.”

14 July Bradford on Avon Mini Book Festival (for Kids)

BOAMBF is back! Get ready for the summer holidays with a day of making, drawing, reading, writing, creating, meeting writers, solving puzzles, solving mysteries, inventing characters, having fun, and letting your imagination run wild!

10am Make a miniature garden – crafty creative workshop with Anna Wilson (4+)

10.45am Grandmas from Mars! – story telling and drawing with Michelle Robinson and Fred Blunt (4+)

11.45am Vampires & Villains – story building workshop with Anna Wilson (6+)

12.30pm Crazy characters and inventive illustrations – illustration master class with Fred Blunt (6+)

1.30pm Puzzles and prizes – crafty creative workshop with Sharon Tregenza (6+)

1.45pm Plot the perfect crime! – story building workshop with Fleur Hitchcock and Rachel Ward (8+)

For teens and adults, there’s also the opportunity to have a one-to-one editorial consultation with one of Chicken House’s editorial team, so if you’ve got a brilliant children’s book up your sleeve, book your place now!

All activities are free; book your place for any of the events with the library on 01225 863280.

30 July to 2 August Children and young people’s book festival at Malmesbury library

With authors and illustrators plus a coding and BBC micro:bits workshop, Paddington Bear activity, Day of the Daleks, creative crafting, Teddy’s Summer Sleepover, bookshop and book signings, Bookstart Bear.

Monday 30 July

2.30—3.30pm Meet author Guy Bass, 7-11s

5-6pm Teddy’s Summer Sleepover, Under 7s

Tuesday 31 July

10.30—11am Baby rhyme time with the Bookstart Bear, Under 5s

11.30—12.30pm Meet illustrator Rebecca Bagley, 5-11s

2.30—3.30pm Paddington Bear Activity, 4-7s

Wednesday 1 August

10.30—11.30am Meet author Angie Morgan, 4-7s

11.45—12.45pm Creative Writing Workshop, 9+

2.30—3.30pm Get Crafty; Crochet workshop, 7+

Thursday 2 August

10.30—11am Water safety story time, 4-7s

11.30—12.30pm Coding for Kids, 7+

2—3.30pm Day of the Daleks, All ages

Call Malmesbury library for more information including how to book, free sessions, 01666 823611

Fun water safety children’s activity sessions

Run by education officers from Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service, these fun half-hour sessions highlight the importance of water safety for children (aged 4 – 7) and their families using a story about a dragon. The sessions will take place in most larger Wiltshire libraries throughout the summer.

The Reading Agency is a charity inspiring people of all ages and all backgrounds to read for pleasure. Working with our partners, our aim is to make reading accessible to everyone. The Reading Agency is funded by the Arts Council www.readingagency.org.uk