Animal Agents Crack Reading Challenge

Published: 04 Oct 2017

A record-breaking number of book-loving children in Hertfordshire have taken part in this year’s Summer Reading Challenge.

Hertfordshire County Council’s Library Service saw a staggering 21,681 children completing the challenge, exceeding last year’s total of 20,022 and breaking all previous records for participation in Hertfordshire.

In this year’s Animal Agents-themed challenge, children were asked to read six books, and were given the fun task of solving a mystery at the same time.

As children reported back on what they read, they collected smelly stickers featuring all the clues they needed to crack the case.

Every child who completed the challenge received a medal and a certificate, along with the chance to win a ticket to an exclusive author event during October half-term.

Terry Douris, Cabinet member for Education, Libraries and Localism, said: “We are delighted that yet again, we had a record-breaking number of children taking part. The reading challenge provides children with a wonderful opportunity to discover a love of reading, and it’s especially nice that they get rewarded for something they enjoy.”

 This year’s Animal Agents theme also introduced young readers to an amazing team of crime-busting creatures designed by Tony Ross, the illustrator of Horrid Henry and many of David Walliams’ best-loved books.

Library staff were supported during the summer by over 400 volunteers; 309 of these were   14 to 24-year-old “Reading Hacks” who signed children up to the challenge, talked with them about their books and celebrated their achievements with them.

Library volunteering offers young people a great opportunity to make a positive contribution to their local community. To find out more, visit

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