Kids Entered
Books Read
Challenges Completed
Kilometers Travelled

How it works

Join the fun this summer with the Great Escape! Read books and earn travel points that will help Library mascot Finn the penguin travel the world.

This year’s reading log has 10 empty spaces for you to fill with books. Simply tell us the title and author of each book you read this summer, and you are in to win! After reading five books you will receive a free library voucher, and 10 books will get you into our readers prize draw, and you will also receive a free book!

You can enter the prize draw as many times as you like, but you will only receive a free book with your first entry. If you are aged 5-12 you can enter as an individual, or together as a family. Those aged 5 and under must enter as a family. This year we also have five optional creative challenges. Complete all five to enter the challenges prize draw.

The Great Escape begins on 1 December, 2018. You can pick up an entry form from the Invercargill or Bluff Public Libraries, or submit one below.


  • 1 December: The Great Escape begins!
  • 1 December: The Great Escape launch party!
  • 31 January: Last day to submit entries
  • 1 February: Winners announced

Launch party photos

Win Awesome Prizes!

Get a free book for finishing a pamphlet!

Go into the draw to win one of 3 book packs!

Where in the world is Finn?

  • Finn made it all the way to Argentina!
  • She's hanging out with some friendly llamas!
  • Finn's had a great time on her world tour
  • Finn travelled 60,605km around the globe!

Completed Challenges

Parents Section

The Great Escape is designed to keep kids reading and prevent the “summer slide”, where reading skills drop off over the long summer holidays (Figure 1).

Weeks, if not a term or more, are spent helping students catch up to their reading levels from the previous year. In one New Zealand study, some students in a South Auckland decile 1 school lost 5.8 months reading progress over the summer holidays (McNaughton et al, 2012).

The consequences are cumulative and long-lasting, often having a powerful influence on reading scores throughout secondary school and beyond. A Baltimore study showed 65% of the reading achievement gap between 9th graders of low and high socio-economic standing could be traced to what they learned — or failed to learn — over their childhood summers (Kim & Quinn, 2013).

The summer slide in reading levels can also be seen in other curriculum areas, such as mathematics, and on levels of confidence generally.

It’s harder to close the gap once it has opened, especially for struggling readers, so the earlier the intervention the better. For more information visit the National Library website.

Figure 1.Raising awareness of summer learning loss.