Get inspired by the Gadgeteers 

The Summer Reading Challenge launches on Saturday 16 July – any anyone who signs up, online or at their local library and reads six books gets a special medal and certificate.

You can read any six books, big books, little books, picture books, funny books, graphic novels, cookery books, eBooks or eAudiobooks… but if you’re inspired by the cool Gadgeteers you might want to borrow one of these brilliant science books this summer.  

They’re all available as physical books in the library, eBooks and eAudiobooks – so wherever you are and whatever you’re doing this summer you can still enjoy six great books and win that medal (did we mention the medal?) 

You can find plenty of books on our special category on our catalogue, check them out here: Summer Reading Challenge library catalogue.

Or if you enjoy reading or listening to books on your device, you can use our free BorrowBox service: Summer Reading Challenge BorrowBox bookshelf.

Here are some recommendations below:

Listen Layla by Yassmin Abdel-Magied

Janey Mack! Layla’s back! And she’s getting her inventions ready for the Grand Design Competition. But when her grandmother is taken ill and her family must go to Sudan to be by her side, Layla starts to feel like she is being pulled in so many different directions. Can she stay on the inventions team at school, if she’s in a different country? Why are her cousins making protest signs? And is anyone even listening to her?! This was not the halal girl summer she thought she was going to have. 

The taylor turbochaser by David Baddiel

Amy loves cars, and dreams of being a driver. But there’s a major catch: her slow old wheelchair with its broken wheel. When Amy finally gets a new electric one, it’s exciting – at first. But standard engines only have so much power. And that’s where Rahul comes in – Amy’s best friend and genius inventor. Soon Rahul turns a wheelchair into a supercar! And so the Taylor Turbochaser is born. But when it all goes suddenly wrong, Amy is going to have to hit the road – and drive. 

Uma and the answer to absolutely everything by Sam Copeland

Uma Gnuderson has a world full of questions: How can I save my home from being sold? Will my dad ever start talking again? And how do alpacas get drunk? But since her mum died, Uma’s life has been short on answers. Until one day she finds a mysterious Bluetooth earpiece and starts to ask it questions. And it answers them. All of them. It knows everything, from the capital of Mongolia to the colour of her headteacher’s underpants. The earpiece is an incredible high-tech artificial intelligence called Athena. Through Athena, Uma suddenly has the answer to every question she can imagine – and she’s going to use them to save her home and her father.  

Doctor Proctor’s fart powder by Jo Nesbo

Doctor Proctor is an ageing inventor just waiting for his big break. When he teams up with Lisa and her peculiar friend Nilly in making the world’s most powerful fart powder, it seems his dream may be coming true. But the ruthless twins Truls and Trym Thrane are lurking in the background just waiting to spoil their plans. 

George and the unbreakable code by Lucy Hawking and Stephen Hawking 

George and his best friend Annie haven’t had any space adventures for a while and they’re missing the excitement – but not for long. Seriously strange things start happening banks are handing out free money; supermarkets can’t charge for their produce so people are getting free food; and aircraft are refusing to fly. It looks like the world’s biggest and best computers have all been hacked. George and Annie must travel further into space than ever before in order to find out who is behind it. 

Kay’s marvellous medicine by Adam Kay

The olden days were pretty fun if you liked wearing chainmail or chopping people’s heads off but there was one tiny little problem back then – doctors didn’t have the slightest clue about how our bodies worked. It’s time to find out why Ancient Egyptians thought the brain was just a useless load of old stuffing that might as well be chucked in the bin, why teachers forced their pupils to smoke cigarettes, why hairdressers would cut off their customers’ legs, and why people used to get paid for farting. (Unfortunately that’s no longer a thing – sorry.) You’ll get answers to questions like: Why did patients gargle with wee? How did a doctor save people’s lives using a washing machine, a can of beans and some old sausages? What was the great stink? (No, it’s not what doctors call your bum). 

How we got to now: six innovations that made the modern world by Steven Johnson 

Did you drink a glass of water today? Did you turn on a light? Did you think about how miraculous either one of those things is when you did it? Of course not – but you should, and author Steven Johnson has. This adaptation of his adult book and popular PBS series explores the fascinating and interconnected stories of innovations – like clean drinking water and electricity – that changed the way people live. 

Danny Chung does not do maths by Maisie Chan

Eleven-year-old Danny Chung loves drawing more than anything – certainly more than maths, which, according to his dad and everyone else, is what he is ‘supposed’ to be good at. He also loves having his own room where he can draw in peace, so his life is turned upside down when a surprise that he’s been promised turns out to be his little, wrinkly, ex-maths-champion grandmother. Nai Nai can’t speak a word of English, which doesn’t make things easy for Danny when he is charged with looking after her during his school holidays.  

Babysitting Nai Nai is NOT what he wants to be doing! What’s worse, Nai Nai has to share his room, AND she takes the top bunk! Before long though it becomes clear to Danny that there is more to Nai Nai than meets the eye, and that they have more in common that he thought possible… 

Cyborg Cat and the night spider by Ade Adepitan

Ade loves playing football and he’s amazing in goal, despite the heavy metal calliper he has to wear on his leg. He can save any ball that’s sent his way, from any direction, so his friends have nicknamed him the Cyborg Cat. But when the Parsons Road Gang stumble upon some unusual graffiti it starts to have a really weird effect on Ade. Somehow, the art is drawing him into another dimension, where he really is Cyborg Cat! But that’s not all – after seeing the Night Spider’s art, Ade starts to feel weak and everything begins to go wrong. He’s banned from a school trip to a safari park because of his disability, and the doctors have some bad news about his legs. How can Ade overcome his challenges and what power does the mysterious Night Spider have over Cyborg Cat? Ade needs all his friends’ help to uncover the truth. 

Summer Reading Challenge 2022 – Gadgeteers!

The Summer Reading Challenge is a great way to share stories and encourage reading throughout the summer holidays, a time when children’s reading skills can sometimes dip.

The theme of the challenge this year is Gadgeteers. Join Eddie, Leo, Ajay, Maggie, Aisha and James and discover the amazing science and innovation behind the world around you!

You can sign up at your local, Hampshire library, or online, from Saturday 16 July and read or listen to any six books to earn a certificate and medal. You can read story books, fact books, eBooks,  audiobooks, and even comics!  Once you have read/listened to your first few books, pop into your library to receive your Gadgeteers collector card and first stickers. Every time you finish reading/listening to a book, visit the library and see a member of our team to talk about the books you have read and collect your next stickers .

When you finish the challenge come to the library to collect your final stickers, finisher’s certificate and medal! Everyone who finishes the challenge has a chance to win a Samsung Galaxy tablet too!

Watch this video to find out more and see how you can take part!

The challenge is for children aged 4 – 11, and we look forward to you joining us in reading or sharing six books of your choice. Children aged 4 and under can join in the fun and earn reading star stickers throughout the summer.

You’ll find thousands of children’s eBooks and audiobooks free to download using our BorrowBox service with lots of titles always available without the wait. You’ll find links to some of our recommendations on this webpage and information about downloading ebooks and audiobooks.

If you’re not already a member of Hampshire Libraries, you can join to take part.

Meet the Gadgeteers!

Sign up, and join in the fun!

12 books all Silly Squadders should read before they turn 12!

Simply sign-up online and read six books over the summer. If you’re not already a member of Hampshire Libraries, you can join the library today to take part – we’ve got a special video to show you how to join.

You’ll find thousands of children’s ebooks and eAudiobooks to download using the BorrowBox app with your Hampshire Library card, if you’re unsure where to start, here some great eBooks and eAudiobooks that you can download for you and your child to enjoy right away!

This year’s Silly Squad theme gives families the chance to have fun, with children being encouraged to read anything that makes them happy – whether it be a comic, joke book, poetry, fiction or non-fiction, in digital or print format, or from what they already have at home.

Marge and the Pirate Baby
by Isla Fisher

Marge is back and exploring the neighbourhood with the kids! With some help from Jemima and Jake, can she stay in charge and keep ‘pirate’ baby Zara under control? And can the children make sure Marge behaves at Uncle Desmond and Annie’s wedding?

Available as an eBook and an eAudiobook
Narrated by Isla Fisher
Suitable for ages 5+

The Great Cycle Challenge
by Sir Chris Hoy

Fergus is a boy with a big imagination and a very special bike. He is also the first member of the Hercules Hopefuls cycling team, set up by Grandpa Herc to fight off their arch rivals, Wallace’s Wheels. Fergus’s friend Daisy would love to join the team too, but she doesn’t have a bike – her mum thinks everything fun is dangerous. Maybe Grandpa Herc and Fergus can do up a bike from scratch for Daisy, with parts from Grandpa’s junk shop? Now it is just Daisy’s mum they need to persuade… Meanwhile Fergus takes a magical trip to Nevermore, where he and Princess Lily discover a magical compass bell once owned by Fergus’s dad. Can the bell provide a clue to the whereabouts of Fergus’s long-lost Dad?

Available as an eBook and an eAudiobook
Narrated by Sir Chris Hoy
Suitable for ages 5+

Hotel Flamingo
by Alex Milway

When young Anna inherits a dilapidated once-grand hotel from her Great Aunt Mathilde, she’s determined to restore it to its former glory. But this is no ordinary hotel – all of her staff and guests are animals! Anna soon rises to the challenge. Whether it’s a flamingo, a penguin or a hippo knocking at the door, Anna is ready to welcome them all – with the help of her trusty sidekicks T Bear the doorman, Squeak the friendly elevator mouse, and Lemmy the lemur receptionist … As she soon finds out, though, running an animal hotel is no easy task. Can Anna make Hotel Flamingo a success once more?

Available as an eBook and an eAudiobook
Narrated by Sarah Ovens
Suitable for ages 5+

Martha Mayhem and the Barmy Birthday
by Joanne Owen

It’s Martha’s birthday and the village has planned a surprise party for her – but grumpy witch Griselda Gritch ruins the surprise!

Not to worry – Martha’s biggest birthday wish comes true when her mum and dad return from their tropical trip especially for her party. Everyone is delighted (apart from grumpy Griselda) and excited to have fun with Martha’s present: the Mysterious Mask of Truth, brought back from her parents’ far-flung travels. Fun, that is, until the truth starts causing everyone quite a lot of embarrassment …

Available as an eBook and an eAudiobook
Narrated by Amy Enticknap
Suitable for ages 5+

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
by Roald Dahl

Charlie Bucket desperately wants to eat more than cabbage soup every day. But even more than that, he longs to see Wonka’s enormous chocolate factory!

Now Mr Willy Wonka, the most wondrous inventor in the world, has hidden golden tickets inside his delicious creamy chocolate bars. Only five winners can go through those great iron gates; will one of them be Charlie?

Available as an eBook and an eAudiobook
Narrated by Douglas Hodge
Suitable for ages 7+

Cookie and the Most Annoying Boy in the World
by Konnie Huq

Cookie’s life is basically over.
Her best friend in the whole world is moving to Solihull because one of her dads has a new job there. Solihull?! Where even is that?! Cookie begs her parents for a pet to fill the void but they have given her an absolute NO. It would be way too expensive and way way too messy.

But Cookie has never been a fan of the word ‘no’ so she visits the pet shop anyway and sets her heart on the sweetest cutest kitteniest kitten ever: Bluey. But then . . . DISASTER! The most ANNOYING boy she’s ever met in her entire nine years goes into the pet shop, buys Bluey and renames her Nigel! And then he joins her year at school! And if that wasn’t bad enough, he moves in next door to her. AAAAGGGGHHHHH!

But it’s not all bad . . . Cookie gets the chance to go on her favourite TV show, Brainbusters. It’s only a chance though – she’ll have to win the school science competition first. It shouldn’t be too hard . . . all she has to do is keep her head down, and not get too over-excited. Unfortunately that’s not Cookie’s strong point…

Available as an eBook and an eAudiobook
Narrated by Konnie Huq
Suitable for ages 7+

Worst Witch
by Jill Murphy

Hold on to your broom for magical mayhem! Lovable but disaster-prone Mildred Hubble is a trainee at Miss Cackle’s Academy for Witches, but she’s making an awful mess of it. She keeps getting her spells wrong and crashing her broomstick. Yet she manages to get by until she turns Ethel, the teacher’s pet, into her deadly enemy and chaos ensues…

Available as an eBook and an eAudiobook
Narrated by Gemma Arterton
Suitable for ages 7+

The Lost Puppy
by Holly Webb

Ruby’s parents have a wonderful surprise – she is going to have a puppy for her very own! Ruby chooses the cheekiest, most adventurous puppy, Toby, and the two have fun playing together. But Toby’s inquisitive nature gets him into serious trouble on a woodland walk, when he slips his collar and goes off to investigate the woods by himself. Soon he is lost and very frightened, especially as night falls. Will Ruby and Toby ever be reunited?

Available as an eBook and an eAudiobook
Narrated by Phyllida Nash
Suitable for ages 7+

The Unforgotten Coat
by Frank Boyce

Two refugee brothers from Mongolia are determined to fit in with their Liverpool schoolmates, but bring so much of Mongolia to Bootle that their new friend and guide, Julie, is hard-pressed to know truth from fantasy as she recollects a wonderful friendship that was abruptly ended when Chingis and his family were forced to return to Mongolia. Told with the humour, warmth and brilliance of detail which characterizes Frank Cottrell Boyce’s writing, this magical and compelling story is enriched by stunning and atmospheric Polaroid photos.

Available as an eBook and an eAudiobook
Narrated by Katy Sobey
Suitable for ages 10+

The Great Caravan Catastrophe
by Mark Lowery

Incredibly, unbelievably, Roman’s cousin is marrying the cousin of Rosie Taylor (AKA The Worst Person Who Ever Lived). Roman can’t believe this (as Rosie says: ‘How can we be in the same family, we’re barely in the same species’).

Rosie’s parents decide they should go along together and ‘make a weekend of it’. Roman’s plus one is his best friend Gamble (probably the naughtiest kid in Europe) – and it’s the beginning of another big, messy, catastrophic and uproarious adventure for Roman – with Winnebagos, illegal thrash metal festivals and campsite beauty contests all thrown into the mix …

Available as an eBook and an eAudiobook
Narrated by Rupert Degas
Suitable for ages 8+

Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters
by Rick Riordan

Percy Jackson has had a quiet year. Not a single monster has set foot in his New York school. But when a game of dodgeball turns into a death match against an ugly gang of cannibal giants, things get . . . well, ugly.

And then Percy’s friend Annabeth brings more bad news: the magical borders that protect Camp Half-Blood have been poisoned, and the only safe haven for young demigods is under threat.

To save their camp, Percy and his friends must embark on a quest that will take them into the treacherous Sea of Monsters and a desperate fight for their lives . . .

Available as an eBook and an eAudiobook
Narrated by Jesse Bernstein
Suitable for ages 10+

Murder Most Unladylike
by Robin Stevens

When Daisy Wells and Hazel Wong set up their very own secret detective agency at Deepdean School for Girls, they struggle to find any truly exciting mysteries to investigate. (Unless you count the case of Lavinia’s missing tie. Which they don’t.)

Then Hazel discovers the Science Mistress, Miss Bell, lying dead in the Gym. She assumes it was a terrible accident – but when she and Daisy return five minutes later, the body has disappeared. Now Hazel and Daisy not only have a murder to solve: they have to prove one happened in the first place.

Determined to get to the bottom of the crime before the killer strikes again (and before the police can get there first, naturally), Hazel and Daisy must hunt for evidence, spy on their suspects and use all the cunning and intuition they can muster. But will they succeed? And can their friendship stand the test?

Available as an eBook and an eAudiobook
Narrated by Gemma Chan
Suitable for ages 10+

Download the BorrowBox app and log in with your Hampshire Library card to enjoy these titles, and thousands of others!

All illustrations © Laura Ellen Anderson 2020

Our top picks for kids to read this summer holiday

We’ve spoken to our team of library experts and come up with nine of our favourite books for children to read this summer holiday, and a great selection to choose from for the Summer Reading Challenge. From dragons stalking library shelves to magical mysteries at a lighthouse – this summer, the real adventures begin between the pages of books!

Where the River Runs Gold, Sita Brahmachari (9-11 years)

Dystopia

In a world where the bees have disappeared, children are the ones who pollinate crops so the nation doesn’t go hungry. Follow Shifa and her brother Themba, as they try to escape from the cruelty of the farm they’re forced to work on. Read on as they hope to build a better life for themselves and inspire a better future for everyone.

Where the River Runs Gold – Sita Brahmachari

The Dragon in the Library, Louie Stowell & Davide Ortu (5-8 years)

Fantasy

Kit’s a kid who prefers getting her feet muddy to picking up a book, but when her keen-reading friends drag her to the library, she discovers a whole world she never knew existed. Join Kit and her friends as they battle to save the library… and the world.

The Dragon in the Library – Louie Stowell & David Ortu

Pages & Co Tilly and the Bookwanderers, Anna James (8-11 years)

Mystery

When eleven year old Tilly’s mum disappeared, she started living above her grandparents’ bookshop. Life above a bookshop is great for a bookworm like Tilly, who loves nothing more than diving into the pages of her favourite stories. Until one day she discovers the characters from the pages walking among the shelves and enlists the likes of Alice in Wonderland and Anne of Green Gables to help solve the mystery of her missing mum.

Pages & Co: Tilly and the Bookwanderers – Anna James

The Bad Luck Lighthouse, Nicki Thornton (9-12 years)

Mystery

Following on from the mystery of the Last Chance Hotel, we join Seth Seppi in a daring adventure as he discovers a bewildering new world of magic. With many questions left unanswered and his nemesis still at large, it’s not long before Seth and his cat Nightshade are embroiled in a new MagiCon case – a murder investigation at an abandoned lighthouse.

The Bad Luck Lighthouse –
Nicki Thornton

Head Kid, David Baddiel (8-12 years)

Comedy

 In this laugh-out-loud story of chaos, practical jokes and wish fulfilment, David Baddiel answers the question of what would happen if the strictest headteacher swapped bodies with the naughtiest kid in school.

Head Kid –
David Baddiel

Kid Normal and the Shadow Machine, Greg James & Chris Smith (7-10 years)

Superhero comedy

Murph Cooper doesn’t have any powers, but that doesn’t stop him from being on the best team of the Heroes’ Alliance. But supervillain Magpie believes that a powerless hero is no hero at all, and builds a gadget to prove it. When Kid Normal enters the Shadow Machine, the world won’t ever be the same.

Kind Normal and the Shadow Machine –
Greg James & Chris Smith

The Boy at the Back of the Class, Onjali Q Rauf (8-11 years)

Fiction

Winner of the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize, The Boy At the Back of the Class follows the story of Ahmet, a strange newcomer to the Year 4 classroom. He sits at the back, doesn’t talk much and, strangest of all, isn’t keen on sweets! But between them, four 9-year-olds have a plan to make Ahmet their friend.

The Boy at the Back of the Class- Onjali Q Rauf

Brightstorm: A Sky-Ship Adventure, Vashti Hardy (9-11 years)

Adventure

When twins Arthur and Maddie hear news that their father has died in a failed expedition to South Polaris, they embark upon a dangerous quest to find answers. Join the twins as they follow in their father’s footsteps and begin a new exploration voyage to discover the truth.

Brightstorm: A Sky-Ship Adventure
Vashti Hardy

The World’s Worst Teachers, David Walliams (7-12 years)

Comedy

If you think your teachers are bad, you should see these guys! These ten tales of terrible teachers will make you realise that the monster at the front of your classroom isn’t so bad after all.

The World’s Worst Teachers –
David Walliams

A Celebration of 2017 at Hampshire Libraries!

So 2017 draws to a close and at Hampshire Libraries we close our doors for the year. And what a fantastically varied and successful year we’ve had across the service and our 48 library branches! Here is just a selection of highlights from across the last 12 months…

Summer Reading Challenge 2017

The theme this year was ‘Animal Agents‘ which proved very popular relating to both animals and detective themes for our young readers. This year 26,638 children have taken part in the scheme which means that 4% more children and their families have been into our libraries and discovery centres over the summer. We also broke our record for schools visited – 84% this year which provides a platform to engage with schools and promote the scheme through school assemblies.

This year we also trialled a new way of delivering the challenge to a Special Educational Needs School which has been very successful; with 70 children completing the challenge through a combination of assemblies and story sharing. We look forward to taking the challenge to more special schools in the summer of 2018.

The Makery Spaces

Both Fareham and Fleet Libraries each contain a Makery space: a flexible digital space which has been equipped with high specification equipment. The Makery was created for technical enthusiasts and amateurs alike to learn and develop new skills and experiment with creative digital concepts in a collaborative style using: Apple iMacs running Sketch Up Pro and Adobe Creative Cloud, Apple iPads, Lego EV3 Robotics, Raspberry Pi and Crumble kits for explore coding, electronics and the world of micro computers, 3D printing, and more!

The events, classes and workshops available at the sites continues to grow and prosper, and 2018 is a real time of development so expect to see much more announced throughout!

Jane Austen 200

2017 marked 200 years since the passing of perhaps Hampshire’s most famous and celebrated author. Naturally we couldn’t resist the chance to celebrate her fantastic books and Austen’s impact on both local and literary heritage.

While there were events, talks and exhibitions throughout the county during the summer months, perhaps the most notable was Hampshire Cultural Trusts’ ‘Mysterious Miss Austen’ exhibition at Winchester Discovery Centre. Hampshire Archives and Local Studies provided a fascinating collection of Austen related artefacts, including a fake marriage entry Austen wrote as a teenager, which went on display at The Gallery at Winchester Discovery Centre from May through to July.

Winchester Discovery Centre’s 10th Birthday

The final weekend of November saw the celebration of Winchester Discovery Centre‘s 10th anniversary, a weekend bursting with activity and an opportunity to reflect on the 10 years since Winchester Library was refurbished and reopened to huge success.

The celebrations included a public open day, showcasing some of the best attractions that the building offers. From book groups to dance troupes, the Winchester Discovery Centre has been at the heart of the local community, and the staff were proud to be part of a day packed with fun and fascination. Also a ceremony for invited dignitaries celebrated the individuals and organisations which launched the Discovery Centre in 2007 and which have supported it since. For more details see our special celebratory blog.

1 Millionth eBook and eAudiobook Download

Sometime on the 16th October 2017 our service recorded its 1,000,000th download from our fantastically successful Overdrive eBooks website. While being a significant landmark, it also demonstrated the changing offer of the library service and Hampshire’s ability to lead by example for all modern library services. All indications are that no other public library service has reached this milestone so far.

DOTS iPad Lending Service

Thanks to nearly £250,000 awarded by Arts Council England, we launched Library DOTS  (Digital; Options, Training and Support), our tablet computer lending project to help tackle social isolation and improve digital literacy.

120 3G enabled tablets were made available for eligible Hampshire residents for a four week loan period, during which training is provided.

The tablets are pre-loaded with relevant online library services, and useful applications linking to themes such as health and well being and information about local communities and services.

Micro:bit Lending

Hampshire Libraries took another step into technological lending with the micro:bit lending service. This compliments the other STEM offers, such as the Code Clubs and Makery spaces.

Micro:bits are small programmable computers, designed to make learning and teaching easy and fun. Library members over the age of 11 will be able to borrow, free of charge a micro:bit pack for a loan period of 4 weeks! Micro:bit loaning packs include: one micro:bit, battery packs, USB cables and a start up leaflet. Check the library catalogue for availability.

Libraries Week

The first annual Libraries Week, following on from the tradition of a February Libraries Day, took place between 9th and 15th October 2017. This was a fantastic time to really show the sheer variety of what libraries off local communities. While events and promotions took place throughout, a huge highlight in the celebrations was the arrival of popular broadcaster and writer Gemma Cairney to Basingstoke Discovery Centre on Tuesday 10th October. Her smaert, sassy and brilliantly animated style wowed our largely youthful audience, all the while dealing with issues of huge significance with deft and humour. We only hope to have more events like this during next years’ Libraries Week!

So here it is, goodbye 2017. We’ve been amazed by the successes and inspired by the variety, so we look forward to providing an even better year in 2018. Join us!

 

Women’s Rugby World Cup 2017

The Women’s Rugby World Cup is the premier international competition in rugby union for women. The tournament is organised by the sport’s governing body, World Rugby. The championships are currently held every four years; the event was most recently held in France in August 2014. World Rugby has chosen to reset the tournament on a new four-year cycle to avoid conflict with the Olympics and Women’s World Cup Sevens; the next World Cup will thus be held in Dublin, Ireland and Belfast, Northern Ireland in 2017 and then every four years thereafter. The top 7 ranked teams plus 5 qualifiers compete to determine the greatest team in world women’s rugby.

Rugby Union for dummies / Nick Cain.

This year’s tournament is the eighth incarnation of the competition and will be taking place in Ireland. All matches are being played in Dublin or Belfast. For those travelling to the matches, grab top travel guides form your Hampshire branch.

Ireland / main contributors, Lisa Gerard-Sharp and Tim Perry

The summer holidays are the perfect time to promote sporting participation, skill and fitness. Look out for health, fitness and well being classes across the Hampshire libraries and Discovery Centre’s events programmes. For those keen to read up on the sport check out our online catalogue and e-books and audio books service.

Food for fitness : how to eat for maximum performance / Anita Bean.

Women’s team sports have risen in profile significantly in recent years and there are many insights into sportswomen’s endeavour’s in recent publications, such as Nicola Adams’ Olympic boxing heroics or Jessica Ennis-Hill’s London 2012 glory.

Unbelievable : from my childhood dreams to winning Olympic gold / Jessica Ennis

The tournament will hopefully inspire our young spectators and readers, and there is much inspiration to be found in our Children’s Information collection. Hopefully the nation’s heroics of the recent past will be match by the England team, who enter the competition as holders.

Diary of a rugby champ / Shamini Flint ; illustrated by Sally Heinrich.

National Playday – Wednesday 2nd August

Playday is the national day for play and takes place every year on the first Wednesday in August. On Playday thousands of children and families get out to play at hundreds of community events across the UK. Why not find a fun activity at a Hampshire library this week?

Coordinated by Play England, it is a celebration of children’s right to play, and a campaign that highlights the importance of play in children’s lives, by a network of people passionate about children’s play. With the school summer holidays, it’s a great time of year for parents and young families and relatives to interact and mix with their community and enjoy the benefits of social play.

On Playday itself, we’re spoilt for choice, with Summer Reading Challenge themed crafts , Toy Library or Storytime drop-ins, and for older children the events continue throughout August with board games and animal-handling events!

These occasions will hopefully inspire our Animal Agents as they finalise their choices for summer reads. Meanwhile for parents, guardians and teachers, books on educational play mean the possibilities for fun and learning this summer have no bounds!

Winchester Science Festival 2017

Winchester Discovery Centre hosted Winchester Science Festival over the weekend, the working project of the not-for-profit organisation Winchester Science Foundation. Over three days people of all ages interacted with fun science demonstrations, information stands and a varied programme of science talks. Our libraries’ fine selections of scientific books e-books and e-magazines had never been more popular!

Now in its sixth year, Winchester Science Festival seeks to inform, engage and entertain the general public with fun and cutting edge science communication and education. A big focus of the festival is to inspire young minds so Friday is Families Day, where this focus takes priority, while throughout the weekend under-19s have free entry to all talks. Winchester Discovery Centre staff enjoyed the science and technology choices for young summer reads!

The festival is also a site for Hampshire-based scientific and technological services and institutions to promote themselves and the world-leading ingenuity right on our doorstep. Representatives provided a range of fun demonstrations and interactive exhibits, including chemical science experiments, dry ice, and electrical demonstrations as well as a volcano-shaped pinball feature demonstrating the potential of stem cells in healthcare. Mini Professors, who run classes in Winchester and Basingstoke Discovery Centres, also promoted the fun science offers even at preschool age.

The weekend opened with 3 sold-out events on Friday. Dr Ben Littlefield’s Festival Opener demonstrations of the explosive chemical processes of life – with audience participation, but not to be tried at home! Science presenter and rapper Jon Chase continued the high energy performance, the audience joined in with his fun and fact-filled raps to explore some of the norms and extremes of the solar system.

On Saturday the wet weather arrived, but the Discovery Centre provided the perfect option to see the festival and continue with Summer Reading Challenge 2017! And there’s still time to sign up at your local library and get started.

The Animal Agents theme was extended to science with Dr Seshadri Nadathur’s ‘A Cosmic Detective Story’, looking to the night sky to be a cosmic detective yourself. Dr Lucie Green, the first female presenter of the BBC’s Sky At Night series and leading solar scientist, described ‘Our Brilliant Sun’ as we know it and as we may come to know it with future space missions. On Sunday Carrie Anne Philbin from the Raspberry Pi Foundation spoke about Digital Making: Creativity and project-based learning with Raspberry Pi, which related heavily to Hampshire Libraries’ upcoming projects and courses in two branch Makery studios.

This was the perfect reminder that the Hampshire library-based science and technology fun continues throughout the summer and beyond. Follow Fleet and Fareham’s Makery pages and sign up at http://unbouncepages.com/the-makery/ to find out more.

 

Featured image credit: Dave Hughes, Hampshire Skeptics.

Summer Reading Challenge continues to brighten our libraries

Kate Wakley, Library Assistant at Fleet Library, updates us on how the Summer Reading Challenge is going in Fleet…

“The weather so far this summer might have been a bit of a wash out, but that hasn’t put the dampers on our Summer Reading Challenge!

Here in Fleet we have had a fantastic uptake, breaking our own records on the first day with almost 250 children signing up. Since then we have had steady numbers and at the time of writing this update we have 1234 taking the challenge!

One of the highlights for Fleet is the wonderful Summer Reading Challenge tent that one of our amazing and talented staff members creates each year. This year we have a record breaking tent that would give the Guinness Book of Records a run for it’s money with the facts and figures displayed, and new feats are being added every week.

As well as Reading challenge medallists we had a crafty morning of record breakers. Families enjoyed making their own medals, the tallest and shortest people, and a cup and ball game to see if they could make their own record and then practice beating it.

We have had 103 finishers so far, their names are proudly displayed on our medal board, a sign of great achievement, not least as they have to follow the slimy Giant Snail trail to retrieve their medals. We look forward to that number increasing as the summer holidays continue.”

You can sign up to the Summer Reading Challenge at any Hampshire Library, to find your local library click here.

For more information about the Summer Reading Challenge click here!