Frequently Asked Questions

What is the First Minister’s Reading Challenge?

Scottish Book Trust are delivering an exciting new reading initiative for children in Primary 1 – 7 on behalf of the Scottish Government. We believe that reading has the power to change lives and developing a love of reading in childhood can have a huge impact on educational attainment and future wellbeing. The First Minister wants to make sure every child in Scotland has an equal opportunity to experience the huge benefits that reading for pleasure brings.

The First Minister’s Reading Challenge aims to build on the work already taking place in schools across the country to encourage children to read widely, explore a range of books and develop a love of reading. The main focus of the Challenge is to encourage reading for pleasure and support schools, libraries and communities to build reading cultures.

Taking Part

Who can take part?

The Challenge is focused on children in primary 1 through to primary 7.

Where can I register?

You can register here! There’s a step-by-step ‘how to’ in your Teacher's Guide that will  be sent to every school in Scotland in September, and a video guide to help. A key contact must register the whole school, and then individual class teachers can sign up and link to their school.

How can we take part?

There are many ways to take part, you can enter individual, book group, class or whole school challenges as well as one for a community partnership. You can also enter for more than one category.

Where can I get more information?

We are holding regional networking and information events in September and October.  If you'd like us to come and speak to your school directly or if you have a specific enquiry you can contact us at

Inverness - Monday 25th September 2017, 16:30–18:30  

Glasgow - Wednesday 27th September 2017, 16:30–18:30  

Edinburgh - Monday 2nd October 2017, 16:30–18:30  

Perth - Wednesday 4th October 2017, 16:30–18:30  



What is the book list?

We worked with a panel of experts to create a recommended list of 300 titles to help inspire pupils to start their reading journey. There are new titles, classics, graphic novels, poetry and even joke books. There’s something for everyone and each title is sorted into one of our ten categories (Funny, Magic & Mystery, Sport, Spooky, Adventure, Family & Friendship, Folklore & Fairy Tales, History, Heroes Vs Villains and Animals). If there’s not anything you like, we’d love you to create your own list to share with everyone!

How do I create my own list?

You can send your list, along with your name and a short paragraph about yourself and the books you’ve chosen to – we will select the highest rated to be added to our list.

Do we vote on the book list?

No, the titles in the ‘100 ways to start your reading journey’ booklet and those on the website are for inspiration only. These titles are not prescriptive or mandatory and there is no voting element.   You can however, review the books using our star rating to recommend for future readers.


During the project

What resources are available?

Every school will receive a resource pack in Autumn 2017.  This will have the First Minister’s Reading Challenge Guide, a class passport, an example passport and some posters.  After you have registered your school and the number of pupils taking part you will automatically be sent Reading Passports. You will also then have access to the wide range of resources to help your school and pupils take part. You can opt out of receiving Reading Passports during registration.

What are the deadlines?

The deadline for submissions will be 2 May 2018. 

What is Inspiring Classrooms?

Inspiring Classrooms is a project created by the First Minister’s Reading Challenge to help schools build and sustain a reading culture.  Schools can apply to Inspiring Classrooms to receive a grant for a project of their choice which includes an author visit and books for Primary 1 – 7 children taking part.

How can I apply for the Inspiring Classrooms package (author visit and books)?

You can download an application form and guidelines then email your completed form by 16 February 2018 as an attachment to

When is the deadline for Inspiring Classrooms and when will I find out if I’m successful?

Applications for Inspiring Classrooms can be submitted from 8 January.  The deadline date for these applications is 16 February and we will aim to let all successful applicants know by 9 March.

Can I arrange for someone from SBT to visit my school / or can we be part of a case study?

Absolutely! We’d love to hear about what you’re doing for the Reading Challenge, no matter how small or how large! You can tweet us your photos and videos to @FMReadChallenge

Our Attainment Programmes Outreach Coordinator Jen will be out and about around Scotland visiting schools to see what they’re getting up to.  If you’d like Jen to attend your event, or if you’d like her to visit your curriculum evenings, teacher meetings or assemblies to give a presentation on the Reading Challenge please send your requests to