Students from Kindergarten to Year 9 in NSW are encouraged to jump into reading with the NSW Premier's Reading Challenge now open for 2021. 

The challenge encourages students from all education sectors to read for leisure and pleasure by asking them to read between 20 and 30 books, depending on their challenge level, from a reading list of quality literature. 

Last year saw a 5 per cent increase in student participation in 2020 during the pandemic, with almost nine million books read.

The Honourable Natasha Maclaren-Jones MLC, Government Whip in the Legislative Council and Parliamentary Secretary for Health is urging students to get involved in the challenge.

"I want as many students around the state to get involved in the reading challenge, whether it's reading for pleasure or to beat your mates,” Mrs Maclaren-Jones said.

"Reading quality literature is crucial for students to access knowledge and skill and adds to the fundamentals to unlocking their future," Mrs Maclaren-Jones said. 

Education Minister Sarah Mitchell said last year an addition 38,000 books were read, and 165 more schools joined the challenge. 

"It's not too late for schools and students to join the Premier's Reading Challenge. All you need to do is register, pick up a book and start reading!" Ms Mitchell said.

"The ability to read well is one of education's greatest gifts, and everyone involved should be proud that the challenge continues to grow and encourages all students to explore the many benefits that result from a love of reading."

There is a particular focus in 2021 on ensuring representation on the reading list of literature by Indigenous authors and illustrators, with Bundjalung woman, author and illustrator Dr Bronwyn Bancroft providing this year's promotional artwork.

Full list of reading found on the Premier Reading List website