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Recent News
‘Bookawocky’ Summer Reading Programs for Kids and Teens Begin June 8 at Hennepin County Libraries, Support School Success
“Bookawocky: A Celebration of Summer Reading,” hundreds of free programs for kids and teens.
June 8-Aug. 17
Hennepin County libraries.
Research shows that kids and teens who don’t read over the summer lose reading skills. In fact, they can be two years behind their classmates by the end of sixth grade (www.ala.org).
“Bookawocky”is funded by the Friends of the Hennepin County Library and MELSA. Some libraries receive additional support from their local Friends groups.
What Is a “Bookawocky”?
Back by popular demand for the third summer in a row, “Bookawocky” — the summer program theme — is a whimsical nod to “Jabberwocky,”* Lewis Carroll’s classic nonsense poem and ode to the imagination.
Last year, an estimated 30,000 kids, teens and adults participated in the Library’s “Bookawocky” programs and activities.
“Hennepin County Library’s ‘Bookawocky’ programs are fun learning opportunities that support school success and focus on reading, the arts and STEM (science, technology and math),” said Lois Langer Thompson, Library director.
Program librarian Johannah Genett added, “Encourage your child to learn this summer by picking up a book or participating in a program. Youth who participate in learning activities during the summer are better prepared for school in the fall.”
Family Destination
Hennepin County Library – St. Louis Park is a favorite year-round destination for Dave Ryan, Sarah Long and their daughters Greta (sixth grade), Audrey (fourth grade) and Fiona (second grade).
“We love the library,” Sarah said. “Our family has enjoyed a number of different activities that are offered at the library during the summer — art and storytelling classes, Guthrie acting sessions — but all of my girls have especially loved the book clubs. It's a great opportunity to encourage their reading during the summer months, but it also pushes them to try new genres and authors, too. I'm also glad it gives them the chance to think about and express to others what they enjoyed, disliked, and learned while reading a story — all while hanging out with girls their own age.”
Program Highlights
“Bookawocky” activities are scheduled at 40 libraries(Hennepin County Library – Walker is closed for reconstruction) and online at www.hclib.org/summerreading. Kids and teens can enjoy live performers, join a book club, listen to stories, learn to take digital photos, try acting techniques, make crafts, watch movies and enjoy many more activities that support literacy skills and success in school.
Programs include:
- dozens of books clubs, and more than a dozen types of book clubs — grouped by age, some for guys only, girls only, teens, daughter/mother, son/father, and online.
- summer storytimes
- Guthrie Theater acting workshops funded by Minnesota’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund
- music and video  production workshops
- “The Hobbit” (make a Hobbit house)
- music by Snapdragon Seeds Music
- Minneapolis Institute of Arts workshops
- “Camp Bookawocky” games, stories and projects
- folksinger Paul Spring
- magic shows
- Schiffelly Puppets
- Bill the Juggler
- “Altoid Tin Mini-Books”
- science fun with the Bakken Museum
- “Scrapbook Minnesota”
- “Digital Photography”
- “Mini-Magnets”
- “Yoga & Stories”
- much more!
Book reviews rock! Kids and teens can submit book reviews to win free books or gift cards. Look for “Read.Write.Draw” (kids) or “Best Book Ever” (teens) forms at your library.
New this year: kids and teens can earn Hennepin County Library reading badges and win books online at www.hclib.org/summerreading (this page will be available beginning June 8). They can earn badges by writing book reviews, creating book lists, taking quizzes and writing blog posts to share what they learn this summer. There are eight different badges: Adventure, Animals, Hands On, LOL, Mystery, Out of This World, Real World and You Choose.
State Fair fans: kids and teens can also win tickets to the Minnesota State Fair by entering a drawing at any library.
Twins fans: kids and teens can enter an online drawing (starting mid-July) to win tickets to Minnesota Twins games, too.
So many books, so little time! How can parents encourage their children to read during summer when there are so many distractions?  Offer lots of opportunities and suggestions, and make frequent visits to the library a favorite family pastime. Kids and teens who participate in library book clubs are motivated to read.
Help your kids find great, age-appropriate books. You’ll find dozens of recommended reading lists for summer and beyond on the Library’s KidLinks and TeenLinks pages. For kids, there are Adventure Stories, Funny Stories, Minnesota Stories, Mystery Stories, Poetry Fun, Sports Stories, Award-winning bookseBooks, and lots more. Teens will like Award-winning Books, Biographies for Teens, Classics Revamped, Fantasy, Graphic Novels, Mysteries & Suspense, Poetry for Teens, Romance, Science Fiction, and more!
Finally, keep your car loaded with library books so even short trips around town are an opportunity for kids and teens to get lost in a good book.
Keep your kids’ reading up to speed! Did you know that third graders who can’t read on grade level are four times less likely to graduate by age 18 than a proficientreader? (http://www.scholastic.com/summer/).  Families can keep their kids and teens inspired to read and avoid the “summer reading slump” by joining in “Bookawocky” fun for a fantastic, “non-mimsy” summer of leisure reading!
*“Jabberwocky” (first verse):
‘Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.


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