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Children invited to join space chase at Middlesbrough libraries

Middlesbrough libraries are calling for children to sign up to read six books this summer as part of Space Chase, Summer Reading Challenge 2019.

The Summer Reading Challenge asks 4-11-year-olds to borrow and read any six library books over the summer. The theme for the 2019 Summer Reading Challenge is Space Chase, inspired by the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing.

Children will team up with futuristic family The Rockets for an exciting space mission as they track down books nabbed by a mischievous band of aliens.

As children read library books for the Summer Reading Challenge, they will receive special stickers, some with mysterious smells. By adding these stickers to their collectable mission folders, young readers will help the Rockets solve clues, dodge asteroids and discover the missing books, having lots of fun and adventures along the way.

To take part in Space Chase, all children need to do is sign up at their nearest Middlesbrough library or community hub, where they will be given a collector folder to keep a record of their Summer Reading Challenge journey.

Space Chase launches in libraries across Middlesbrough on Saturday, July 13 and runs until Saturday, September 7.

There's a whole programme of events and activities planned in libraries and community hubs for families over the summer to celebrate the Summer Reading Challenge, including Planetarium shows at Easterside Hub on Friday, August 2, space themed Drag Queen storytelling with Mama G on Monday, August 5, library favourites Zoolab and the chance to make your own space slime with Mess Around Teesside.

As if that wasn't enough Middlesbrough Libraries are creating a Book Bench Trail around Middlesbrough town centre using benches created with local families and schools that currently reside in hubs.

Families can pick up a trail leaflet at participating venues including Dorman Museum, MIMA, Waterstones and Hillstreet Centre. Everyone completing the trail will be entered into a prize draw. There'll be copies of the books and activities to enjoy at each stop on the trail.

Visit your nearest library to join the challenge from Saturday, July 13.

Sue Wilkinson, CEO of The Reading Agency said: "At The Reading Agency, we tackle life's big challenges through the proven power of reading. We know from our research that families and children love taking part in the Summer Reading Challenge, and we are proud to have been running the Challenge for twenty years this year.

"The space theme has been chosen to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing. Last summer, children worked with illustrator Adam Stower to come up with ideas for the Space Chase adventure, and we hope the Challenge will inspire all children to use their local library and to read lots of great books throughout the summer and beyond."

Ruth Cull, Library Development Officer said: "We're really excited about the Summer Reading Challenge and our Book Bench Trail around the town centre this year.

"Thanks to Arts Council England funding we've been able to create this trail with the help of lots of partners. We hope families will enjoy visiting each bench which feature favourite books such as The BFG and Dear Zoo and be inspired to enjoy reading this summer."