Carnegie Public Library is four weeks into its Summer Reading Program, and there is still time to participate. We have plenty of activities through July to enjoy, and your child has until school starts to complete his/her summer reading goals.
Each family determines their child’s reading goals. We can help with guidelines, but essentially you’ll determine, with your child, how many books he/she wants to read this summer. After completing their goals, each child will receive an envelope with coupons to various businesses from Dairy Queen, Taco Bell, McDonald’s, Tim Horton’s, Magic Mountain, Chipotle, Renaissance Faire and more! Every Friday, there is a drawing for tickets to Kings Island, Newport Aquarium, Cincinnati Observatory, Laser Tag, Columbus Children’s Theatre and Dairy Queen gift certificates. Each week more than 200 kids sign up to win these prizes.
Our first and foremost goal is for children to discover new authors and new stories that will delight, enthrall, transport and inform them! I vividly remember reading the Boxcar Children, the Bobbsey Twins and Trixie Beldon in the third and fourth grades. I would gallop through each book, because I could not wait to leap into the next book. A young reader just returned a mystery classic, and she was so enthusiastic about her first Nancy Drew book that she checked out five more! Moments like that are thrilling to librarians. We love hearing about books they like, why they like them and even why they didn’t like a particular book.
Books are and should be transformative. I wept with grief at Charlotte’s Web, Black Beauty, Ole Yeller and Little Women. I giggled at Ramona’s mishaps and adventures in Beverly Cleary’s series on Ramona Quimby. I was transported to England while reading The Secret Garden and The Little Princess, and felt the scorch of heat while reading Rudyard Kipling’s Just So Stories.
Just recently I laughed till I had stomach cramps reading A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson, and if I need cheering up, I’ll grab Mark Twain’s travelogues. Recently, I entered the world of France during World War II while reading The Nightingale, and the author was so convincing that I could imagine the extreme cold, hunger, deprivation and devastating cruelty experienced as she spun her story of the Nazi occupation of France. Sometimes I seek books that move and impact me deeply. Sometimes I desire less demanding books and just want to be entertained. And sometimes I don’t know what to read and random selections can be serendipitous!
Our job at the library is to help families and kids find those special books that will be transformative to them. I find it reassuring that kids still like to read about Ramona and the Boxcar Children, yet there are vast new worlds for them to discover and enjoy. Today’s popular series books for children include Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Bad Kitty, Katie Woo, Puppy Place, Amelia Bedelia and many more. In picture books, Pippa the Pig enjoys tremendous circulation, and of course, anything by Mo Willems. Dr. Seuss’s fan base has remained consistent for more than 60 years. The Magic Tree House series is still popular as ever, but for the first time in 15 years I’m seeing that Junie B. Jones popularity is waning. Interests and trends are cyclical, but we want the desire to read to keep developing as children grow.
So please bring your children to the library, sign them up for a library card, it’s free! Sign them up for the summer reading program, it’s free, too! Attend one of our many programs, check-out books and enjoy a summer of fun exploring new places, new things, new people, and new experiences through books! We have teen and adult programs, too. Check out our schedule on www.cplwcho.org or stop by for our newsletter.