HAPPY faces in the library at Inverclyde Academy speak volumes about the school's exciting new reading challenge.

First year pupils have signed up for Rooted in Reading, a scheme which is part of the First Minister's campaign to introduce more young people to the joys of books.

Youngsters have received a reading 'passport' which includes all sorts of books, magazines, plays and poems.

English teacher Brian Connell said: "We’re excited to have joined the First Minister’s Reading Challenge this session.

"Along with our inspirational librarian Miss Morton, the English department have been working hard to build a reading culture and to help children and young people discover the power of reading.

Over the last twelve months we’ve done a huge amount to celebrate the reading our pupils already do and encourage even more.

"Last session we had a Harry Potter theme night, read all the novels shortlisted for the Scottish Booktrust Teen Book of the Year competition, we’ve started a book club, published our own graphic novel and hosted award-winning author visits.

"We value, encourage and reward reading and taking part in the First Minister's Reading Challenge will celebrate our reading culture and recognise the efforts of our young bookworms."

Pupils are looking forward to the page-turning project.

Mia Williamson, 12, from Inverkip, said: "I think the reading challenge is a really good idea.

"It will encourage people who are not natural readers to read more."

Alex Taylor, 12, of Greenock, suffers from dyslexia and found reading difficult in the past but now he has the help he needs he enjoys reading.

He said: "I like dyslexia-friendly books and reading books about football and comics.

"My reading is much better than it was in primary school.

"It was hard for me but I'm really good with my reading now."

Suzy Young, also 12, who lives in Inverkip, is a big fan of local author Cathy MacPhail's titles.

She said: "I like how the books have a lot of information in them and they are based in Scotland.

"I enjoy reading because it is good for my health.

"It processes your mind and you learn a lot of new words."