Return of the King: Bloodaxe throws down the gauntlet for his 2019 Reading Challenge


Story-telling was a core part of Viking culture, with legendary journeys, battles and victories providing inspiration for many an evening by the fireside, and this winter, 21st century children are being encouraged to discover their own historic stories in the Bloodaxe Book Challenge, run by JORVIK Viking Festival and York Explore libraries.

From its launch this month until January next year, children who sign up for the free challenge will receive a sticker from Explore York Libraries for each book they complete.  Once they have read four books with a historical link, they receive a free child’s ticket to JORVIK Viking Centre, and the chance to meet leading children’s author, Hilary Robinson, during next February’s JORVIK Viking Festival.  Further stickers are available for any bookworms who carry on reading beyond the required four!

“Now in its eighth year, the annual Bloodaxe Book Challenge is a great way of rewarding children whilst they develop a love of books, and we’re delighted to be supporting it again,” comments Dr Chris Tuckley, head of interpretation for York Archaeological Trust, which organises the JORVIK Viking Festival.  “We’re very excited to have Hilary Robinson coming along to the Festival in February, with her new book Jasper: Viking Dog being published just days earlier on 12 February – so the lucky winner of the reading challenge will get one of the very first signed copies!”

Hilary is the author of more than 50 children’s books, and Jasper: Viking Dog follows hot on the tail of Jasper: Space Dog, which was released earlier this year, and which was nominated by Love Reading 4 Kids as its ‘book of the month’.  The Jasper series has been created to be extra accessible, featuring dyslexia-friendly fonts and cream paper to encourage reading amongst all children.

For more information on the Bloodaxe Book Challenge, or to find out more about the events planned for the 2020 JORVIK Viking Festival, please visit  Forms to enter the Bloodaxe Reading Challenge are available from any York library.


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