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Last Updated: Monday August 22 2005 18:34 GMT

Author Wilson backs summer reads

Jacqueline Wilson. [Photo by Alexandra Strick]
Top author Jacqueline Wilson is encouraging children to read for fun during the school summer holidays.

The Children's Laureate is backing the Summer Reading Challenge which has been launched in loads of the UK's libraries - more than nine out of 10.

Children visiting their local library collect stickers for each book they read in a ship-shaped reading log.

Over 600,000 children are expected to take part in the seventh Challenge - this year, called the Reading Voyage.

Anyone who reads six or more books will be given a certificate and medal at the end of the summer.

Jacqueline Wilson said: "I particularly like the fact that there is no set list of books. Whatever books children choose counts towards their tally for rewards. It's all about reading for pleasure."

Chat about books

Children can also discuss books with library staff and record their own opinions.

Video clips of top authors, including Jacqueline Wilson, Michael Morpurgo, Martin Waddell, Anthony Horowitz and Michael Rosen, appear on the website which ties in with the scheme.

The scheme is run by the Reading Agency, which works with libraries to help people get hold of the books they want.

Children taking part in the Reading Voyage
Reading helps you at school

Some research shows that a love of reading helps children do better at school, not just in English but in lots of other subjects.

Seventy-eight per cent of children who have taken part in the Challenge said they were better readers as a result and 66 per cent said they read more books.

For more information, visit your local library, go to or click on the link in the green box in the top right corner.

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