Summer Reading Challenge with Manchester Libraries

Sarah-Clare Conlon, Literature Editor
Children's author and illustrator Rob Biddulph
Children's author and illustrator Rob Biddulph.

Summer Reading Challenge at Manchester Central Library, Manchester 5 July — 18 September 2021 Entrance is free — Visit now

Manchester Libraries invite all four to eleven year olds to join the free Summer Reading Challenge running for six weeks through the summer holidays, until 18 September. For 2021, the Summer Reading Challenge has teamed up with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) for a special nature theme called Wild World Heroes focused on the environment and nature.

Join the Wild World Heroes for the Summer Reading Challenge and discover how you can help them make a difference to the environment, with plenty of ideas that will inspire you to stand up for the planet, plus competitions and prizes.

Head to your local library to pick up a free joining pack and start borrowing and reading books to earn your medal and certificate. Manchester Libraries have bought lots of new books on a nature and environmental theme for you to choose from – which book will you start off with? Once you’ve read six books, you will have completed the Challenge, but why stop there? Why not check out the other books too – you can read whatever you like, as long as they’re from a library.

The Wild World Heroes are inviting you to Wilderville! It’s a pretty cool place, but there are lots of things that the Wild World Heroes can do to make their town even better for everyone who lives there – the people and the animals. Join the Wild World Heroes for the Summer Reading Challenge and discover how you can help them make a difference to the environment, with plenty of ideas that will inspire you to stand up for the planet, plus competitions and prizes, rewards, and a programme of free summer holiday activities online and also in your library.

There’s lots of wild stuff to inspire you to keep reading, including weekly online drawing sessions with Steve Smallman and a special film made by children’s author and illustrator Rob Biddulph to celebrate the Wild World Heroes! Rob is a bestselling and multi award-winning author/illustrator, the man behind #DrawWithRob and the official World Book Day Illustrator for 2019, 2020 and 2021. Join him on Wednesday 21 July for half an hour from 11am – have your pencil and paper ready to draw along with Rob, then listen to him read from his latest picture book Dog Gone. Search @manchesterlibraries on Facebook to watch, and also keep an eye on here for updates about what’s on and which books to read as the Summer Reading Challenge progresses.

The Summer Reading Challenge is delivered in Manchester by Manchester Libraries in partnership with The Reading Agency.

Where to go near Summer Reading Challenge with Manchester Libraries

St Peters Square Manchester
City Centre
St Peter’s Square

St Peter’s Square is a public space in Manchester – home to the city’s iconic library, town hall, Pankhurst statue, art gallery and famous Midland Hotel.

Manchester Art Gallery. Photo by Andrew Brooks
City Centre
Manchester Art Gallery

The Charles Barry-designed, Grade I-listed Manchester Art Gallery is one of the city’s leading galleries and is back open for visitors once more.

The Alan

This high-end city-centre restaurant has an excellent afternoon tea option that more than matches up to the superb main menu.


1847 Manchester is an excellent vegetarian restaurant in the centre of town.

Salut Wines
Bar or Pub
Salut Wines

Salut wines pride themselves in offering “wider horizons beyond the safe choices.” With 42 wines by the glass and a regularly changing selection of bottles in their Enomatic wine preservation machines (or  “wine jukebox,” as they’re colloquially known), this is one of be best bars in Manchester for exploring new vintages.

City Centre
Event venue
3Space Manchester

The building consists of five floors of 10,000sqft in an L shape configuration – three of which are open-plan and the other two floors are divided into studio size spaces.


Latest branch of Friska, the independent healthy fast food chain.

Don Giovanni

Traditional Italian restaurant, serving everything from pizza to steak. All this in a large modern venue with floor-to-ceiling windows.

Manchester Art Gallery Cafe

Summery bakes, seasonal salads and fresh light meals at Manchester Art Gallery’s in-house café, courtesy of highly-regarded Head Chef Matthew Taylor.

City Centre
Tourist Attraction
Manchester Town Hall

Re-opening in 2024, Manchester Town Hall is a monument to Victorian Manchester’s ambition, and one of the city’s most-loved landmarks.

City Centre
Tourist Attraction
Albert Square

A public square in the heart of Manchester which plays hosts to festivals and major events. Home to the Albert Memorial and statues of Bishop James Fraser, John Bright, Oliver Heywood and William Ewart Gladstone.

What's on: Literature

Kendal Mountain Book Festival 2023

Exploring our natural world through words, music and poetry, Kendal Mountain Book Festival should be a top pick for lovers of nature writing and avid explorers everywhere.

from £6.50

Culture Guides

Music in Manchester and the North

From post punk legends to the leading lights of modern shoegaze, read about the most exciting artists playing in Manchester and the North this autumn.