Children and young people are always welcome in our libraries, and no-one is too young to join! Our friendly and welcoming staff will be pleased to see you and are always happy to help you and your family.
Our libraries have books for children and young people of all ages and abilities:
- Board Books and picture books – perfect for sharing with the very youngest children
- Read Alone – short chapter books to support children learning to read
- Junior and Teen fiction – a range of stories from classics through to popular series and the latest bestsellers, including dyslexia friendly books and graphic novels
- Information books to help with learning, homework, and hobbies/interests
- Health & Wellbeing – discover our health and wellbeing collection, including Reading Well for Children and Reading Well for young people.
All of these books can be borrowed for free. If your local branch does not have the book you’re looking for, we can usually get it in from another library; ask the staff if you can request a book.
Activities for Children and Young People
Summer Reading Challenge
The Summer Reading Challenge encourages children aged 5 to 11 years to keep reading throughout the summer holidays by rewarding them for reading and reviewing books. To take part, we recommend children read six books of their choice over the summer holidays. Our libraries provide activities and events to keep motivating children to complete the Summer Reading Challenge.
The Reading Agency and libraries are excited to introduce Wild World Heroes, Summer Reading Challenge for 2021; a celebration of nature and action for the environment, in partnership with WWF UK.
There is no other free reading activity that involves so many children, introduces families to their library, encourages children to choose books freely and independently and is endorsed by parents, teachers and the Department for Education.
We are delighted to be offering sign up and packs from all our libraries. Look out on social media for details of activities to get involved with as we celebrate the theme of Wild World Heroes.
Find out more on the Summer Reading Challenge website.
Bookstart is a national programme by BookTrust, providing a free pack of books for babies and pre-schoolers to encourage a love of stories, songs, and rhymes. Sharing books with your child is a wonderful way to build a loving relationship, increase their language skills, and help them have a lifelong love of books. To get your free Bookstart pack ask your local library, health visitor, or Family Hub for details.
Winter Mini Challenge
The Winter Mini Challenge encourages children to keep reading through the winter holidays by rewarding them for reading and reviewing books. To take part in the Winter Mini Challenge online, children read any books of their choice, including eBooks and eAudiobooks (we recommend reading at least three), then rate and review them here.
The Winter Mini Challenge will run again in December 2021 - check back at a later date for more information.
You can also follow our social media pages for activities and events to keep your children and young people motivated in their reading choices.
Schools Offer (Nurseries, Primary and Secondary)
Stockton Children's Book of the Year
This award celebrates the best in children's fiction. Each year five books are shortlisted by library staff and shared with children in Years 5 and 6 from Primary Schools across the Borough to vote for their favourite. If your school would like to be involved, more information can be found on the SCBY website or contact Angela Foster, Children and Young Person's Librarian [email protected]
Author Visits and Northern Children's Book Festival
We love to bring our local schools opportunities to attend inspirational author sessions. When we have these opportunities available, we will contact all schools with the information. Plus, every year we take part in the Northern Children's Book Festival, held during the second and third week of November.
Authors who have previously visited Stockton include Andy Windham, Eloise Williams, Guy Bass, Sufiya Ahmed, Dan Smith, Vashti Hardy, Gabrielle Kent, and Eoin Colfer.
Our libraries deliver a range of high-quality sessions to schools, including an introduction to the library, library skills and storytimes. National Storytelling Week, World Book Day, Empathy Day, Road Dahl Day and National Poetry Day are all great opportunities to invite the library into your school or to arrange a school visit to your local library.
Please contact your local library to arrange a visit.
We can also deliver Dementia Awareness sessions to primary aged children, looking at memory loss through storytime, memory games, and object handling. The session provides a positive message to children regarding memory loss and dementia, which is affecting an increasing number of families and links to the Dementia Friendly Communities Campaign. For more information, please call Karen Morris on 01642 526518 or email [email protected]
Time to Read
Time to Read is a BookTrust campaign providing a free book pack for children aged four to five to share and enjoy with their family and friends. This pack will be delivered directly to each primary school by the end of the Autumn term. We can help your school provide a fun book gifting session.
World War I Commemoration
Study packs based on Stockton-on-Tees during World War I are available to support school studies. Study packs include recommended reading list and school sessions using object handling and literacy-based activities. For details contact Stockton Reference Library on 01642 528079 or [email protected]
If your school is registered for the Children's University, please note that Stockton Libraries is a validated Learning Provider, and your pupils can collect hours at library events and groups.