Published: 01 Nov 2017

The lucky winners that took part in this year’s Summer Reading Challenge met Birmingham author Gareth P Jones at a golden ticket event at Welwyn Garden City Library on Friday 27 October.

Summer Reading Challenge participants who read all six of the books were entered in the draw to win one of the golden tickets and have the chance to meet Gareth P Jones, author of The Thornthwaite Betrayal  and the Pet Defenders series.

Gareth won the Young Teen Fiction Book Award 2017 and was shortlisted for the Waterstone’s Book Prize. The children got the chance to hear him talk about his work, and receive a signed copy of one of his books.

Alice, one of the prize winners, said: “‘I feel very lucky to have won the golden ticket and to meet Gareth in person. Thank you very much to everyone involved.”

Librarian Jane Toyne said: “We were so pleased to welcome author Gareth P Jones to Welwyn Garden City Library. It was a fun and inspiring way to celebrate the achievements of the children who took part in our Summer Reading Challenge. There were only 80 golden tickets up for grabs, so those tickets really were like gold dust! It was so nice to see all the children and I know they all left even more inspired to keep on enjoying and being committed to reading.”

A record-breaking 21,681 Hertfordshire children took part in the Animal Agents themed challenge, with 770 of those joining the library for the first time.

A parent of a book-loving child who attended the golden ticket event said: Thanks for a great event! The Summer Reading Challenge is a great motivator and my son was chuffed to be invited today. Gareth was a great entertainer and it was a lot of fun.”

Terry Douris, Cabinet Member for Education, Libraries, and Localism, said: “It’s great to see children from across the county being brought together to celebrate their achievement at this event. The Summer Reading Challenge is a fantastic way for children to have some fun reading and also discover the activities and range of books available at their local library.”

For more information about what Hertfordshire libraries have on offer for children and young people, visit