About the First Minister's Reading Challenge

We believe that reading has the power to change lives and that 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.

There will be a range of prizes awarded in June 2018 for schools and pupils to celebrate their reading journeys. The Challenge will also give the opportunity for every child’s personal achievements to be recognised by their teachers and librarians.

Read the introduction from the First Minister

One of the best things about the First Minister’s Reading Challenge is the opportunity to share and celebrate all the wonderful things you’ve been doing to encourage reading for pleasure. Our Celebration Event last year was a chance to do just that! Catch up with this great video from the event and, as well as the brilliant showcase from schools across Scotland, you’ll see the invaluable input from teachers and the pupils themselves as they talk about their reading experiences and take a real pride in their schools’ reading journeys. Make sure you join in with the fun this year!


You can take part in one, some or all aspects of the First Minister's Reading Challenge and can register and submit your entries at any time from the launch until the closing date of 2 May 2018. Even if you engage with just one element of the Reading Challenge you can make a huge difference to your pupils. View the full list of Reading Challenges here



Every primary school in Scotland will receive a Teachers pack, which will include a Guide to the First Minister’s Reading Challenge. This guide will give an overview of the number of ways you can get involved in the Challenge and what prizes are up for grabs as well as suggestions on setting up library and community partnerships.   

Once you register your school to take part, you will have the opportunity to order free reading passports for every child in your school taking part in the Challenge.  Extra downloadable pages for the reading passports will soon be available in our Resources section of the website.




As part of the First Minister’s Reading Challenge, Scottish Book Trust has worked with a wide range of teachers, librarians, booksellers, authors and other professionals to create a list of high quality children’s books to as inspiration for starting your reading journey.
This list is not mandatory, it is a starting point designed to motivate children to start their reading journey or encourage them to explore further. It includes classics and newer titles, non-fiction and graphic novels, and is searchable by genre and age. Children can take part in the Challenge and read entirely different books, this is a suggested list only. View the book list online

There is a book out there for everyone. The library or bookshop are the very best places to find the perfect book match, and to help broaden reading tastes.  

Once your children, class or group have discovered some titles that they love, why not consider putting together a reading list of their own and sharing it with us? We will then feature the best on our blog.  You can send any book list suggestions to readingchallenge@scottishbooktrust.com.


Book Lists

On our blog we will be publishing lists written by a wide range of learning professionals, authors, schools and many more! There are lists on specific genres, seasons, curriculum areas and accessibility. If you’d like your own list to be featured on our website, please send it to us at readingchallenge@scottishbooktrust.com.  Lists must be no longer than 10 books long and should include a short blurb on the theme and the person/group that put the list together.