Looking to take a break from the summer heat and travel to foreign lands? The Lodi Public Library is hoping to take children, teens and adults on an adventure with its summer reading program.
The theme for children will be “One World, Many Stories,” and will include special events and prizes for every three hours a child reads a book starting July 1. The program will continue through July 31, and participants are encouraged to read books from other countries and cultures, but it is not mandatory.
Friends of the Lodi Public Library, a nonprofit group, fund the summer reading club every year.
Last year, the library had about 700 children sign up for the program, and 225 completed the required 12 hours of reading, children’s librarian Jim Tinder said.
“Especially during the summer hiatus, it’s important to keep their reading level up, so when they get into the next grade, they are prepared for it,” he said.
Below is a summary of the different programs.
Children up to 12 years old: Children will need to pick up a packet from the library with a reading log and stickers. For every 15 minutes a child reads or has someone read to them, they can add a sticker to the log.
Tinder said they picked the international theme because it can include a variety of topics like cooking, adventure, folktales and fairy tales.
Every time the child reads for 3 hours, they can come in and get a prize. Prizes this year include a punch ball shaped like the Earth, and a Japanese lantern shaped like a hot air balloon that kids can color and decorate.
Children who finish their 12 hours of reading before July 31 can turn in the log and receive gift certificates from two of the summer reading sponsors: Round Table Pizza and Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill and Bar. The kids will also receive free admission for the reading celebration party at the World of Wonders Science Museum on Aug. 11 from 3 to 5 p.m.
Teens aged 12 to 18: For teens, the theme is “You Are Here.” The goal is for teens to think about where they came from and other cultures around the world, said Behjat Kerdegari, reference and young adult librarian.
For this age group, the goal is to read two books 100 pages or more between May 23 and July 23. After teens finish the books, Kerdegari is asking them to write a brief review about what they thought to put on the city of Lodi website.
Because many teens are already assigned summer reading books, the review is a good way for them to prove they read it to their teachers, Kerdegari said.
“I’ve heard over and over from teens that even though they just love for the school year to end, they get bored after a while. This gives them something to do,” she said.
Adults: The focus of the adult group will be “Novel Destinations.” Reference librarian Sandra Smith said she hopes people will take the opportunity to read fiction books set in another country or even in a different world. She also will encourage readers to pick a country or experience that they don’t know much about.
For example, one of the books she is excited to recommend is “Patagonia Express” by Paul Theroux. It is about his experiences taking a train throughout South America.
Adults also will receive a prize for every book they read. After completing four books, the final prize is a gift certificate for the Friends of the Library bookstore.