Details of the scheme were unveiled at its launch in the library today (Saturday).
The theme is The Time Machine, taking inspiration from the H. G. Wells classic, and will transport young bookworms back to the Victorian period, with a nod to the steampunk genre of science fiction and giving a chance to investigate the different sides of life and social divides at the time.
The reading challenge will involve reading five books and getting badges for each stage and then a certificate at the end. Children can start from today, but the scheme runs until the end of the summer holidays so there is no need to panic if you haven’t had chance to register for the scheme yet.
Librarian in charge Mary Cousins said: ‘The Victorian era was a hugely interesting time with big developments in science and the political scene.
‘Of course, some of our favourite novels date from that era too and our Time Machine theme gives us the opportunity to tie in with the vast local history and the huge interest in our forefathers.
‘There will be plenty of fun along the way and we hope that as many children as possible can take part this summer.’
The game element of this year’s Summer Reading Scheme gets underway on July 15 and continues for eight weeks.
Children will be able to read the diary entries of two different families from the Victorian period.
The first family is middle class. Dad is an architect, mum is interested in charities, the son works in dad’s office. The oldest daughter is almost a suffragette (campaigner for women to be allowed to vote) and the youngest daughter is enjoying a birthday party.
The second family is working class. Dad is a fisherman, mum works in laundry/mending. The daughter works as a maid, while the elder son is a miner. The younger son is also enjoying his birthday.
The diary entries will highlight many things including matters of historical interest, transport, entertainment, the charitable and political movement and what Victorians ate. They will also have local history tie-ins with real events and characters from the time.
Under the scheme, children will be asked to imagine they have been transported back to the period and that they need to fix the Time Machine to return to the present day. They will earn engine parts by answering questions and getting stickers and points.
One of the tasks is to search for hidden Time Machine depictions at Manx National Heritage sites. Children will be asked to find each Time Machine and note its colour, before reporting back on their next visit to the Family Library.
School children will be allowed free access to MNH sites through the Ace Card scheme.
For the under six, the task will be to search for animals in the display.
Throughout the summer, the library will also be promoting classic Victorian literature through workshops and other events, to give youngsters a taste of the likes of Peter Pan and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, the Jungle Book and many more.
The library is open today (Saturday) from 10.30am-4pm, celebrating the launch of this year’s scheme.
Anyone who has not registered so far and who is unable to make it there today can still take part by calling in at the library – which is next to the children’s playground in Westmoreland Road, Douglas, at another time and picking up the registration card.
Alternatively, call the library on 640650 or visit the website www.familylibrary.im for more details.
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