The summer I turned nine, my mother started taking my siblings and I into the city to go to the public library. Books could be checked out for three weeks, so that’s how often we made this trip. I would gather a stack of mysteries and young adult novels sure to last me the entire 21 days and then some. Heaven forbid I should be caught bookless.
Some folks in Charlottesville don’t want kids to be caught bookless this summer either. Summer reading programs at Jefferson-Madison Regional Library start June 17 with prizes for kids who meet their reading goals and loads of cool programs to keep them coming back for more.
Bookworms up to age 11 who sign up for “Discover a Hoppin’ Place @ Your Library” will receive a reading log along with a nifty sack to carry that stack of reading materials. Adolescent booklovers ages 11-18 can sign up for Cheap Thrills, the reading program just for teens. Kids set their own reading goals and keep a record of their progress. Even kids who don’t read yet can participate by having someone read to them. Reading logs can be turned in at the local library branch once a week for a special prize.
Writing readers can scribe a review of something they’ve read and see it published in the Cheap Thrills or Cheap Thrills Junior Newsletters. The Cheap Thrills program has two book discussion groups scheduled with snacks at each biweekly session, and books participants can keep if they like. And no one should miss the ice cream socials and kick off parties scheduled at many library branches. Teens have their own gala kick off event: a chocolate festival at Central Library on June 24.
Barnes & Noble Bookstore is sponsoring a summer reading program, too. The booksellers invite kids in grades one to six to dive in and read at least eight books to receive a coupon good for a free book. Readers’ journals can be picked up in the children’s section of the store. Books need not be purchased; even library books and those borrowed from friends will do, as long as the material is age appropriate and up to the child’s reading level.
Brochures detailing the summer programs for both “Discover a Hoppin’ Place” and “Cheap Thrills” are available at all JMRL branches. The summer reading program takes place June 17-August 3. Participants should register for book discussion groups and pick up the first book ahead of time. Free tickets for the chocolate festival are available at all branches. Central Library’s number is 979-7151, ext. 3. Barnes & Noble is in the Barracks Road Shopping Center. Their “Dive into Books” program runs May 28-September 3. 984-0461.