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Shelf Talk 13: Summer Reading Roundup

Whew! What a summer at the Mississippi County Library System (MCLS)! We kept ourselves busy with curbside services, book sales, and a completely virtual Summer Reading Program. We had fun creating missions, reading challenges, and craft activities for the participants. Next week marks the start of a new school year, with MCLS initiatives designed to support students and families.

But before we talk about the exciting things to come, let’s review MCLS Summer Reading 2020: Imagine Your Story.

This summer, we had over 100 kids across our county register in the virtual summer reading program. They earned points through reporting reading minutes, writing book reviews, and completing missions. Prizes were awarded at different point levels as incentives to keep reading. Our super readers reported 34,590 minutes read: that’s 24 days of non-stop reading! Participants completed 153 craft, story time, and creative missions. My favorite were the book reviews. We received 238 reviews of a wide range of books. Instead of just rehashing plot, many participants wrote about:

how the book affected them,

“This book is amazing and shows that though you’ve been through bad things in your life you don’t have to let that define you. You don’t have to let someone mistreat you just because you love them. It’s about self discovery and learning to love one’s self.” ~Destiny, on Gods and Monsters

the characters’ relatable struggles,

“This book is about how this girl Stacey found out that she had diabetes. Her best friends started to ignore her because she got the most attention. Her parents had told her that they were moving to storybook town…When she went to the new school she made new friends.” ~Degdreonna, age 15 on The Babysitters Club: The Truth about Stacey

how average kids can still be heroes,

“Max isn't exactly the heroic fighting type. He is just a normal guy from an orphanage. When he gets there he realizes that knights have been hiding something[…]one of Ned’s most sworn enemies is still alive! Then comes the combat which Max is totally unprepared for. Thankfully they don't make him do or experience anything totally brutal but it’s still something his body is not ready for. Thankfully he meets a new friend to help with everything.” ~Payden, age 12 on Knights Academy

how growing up may not be as fun as it seems,

“[I] could understand why Nancy wanted to sit at the adult table. But when Nancy got to the more fancier adult table, she noticed how much fun the kids were having and she then wanted to sit at the kids table.” ~Kelis, age 7 on Fancy Nancy: Our Thanksgiving Banquet

and how a story can elicit all sorts of emotions!

“My favorite part of the book was when Jack and Annie were able to go home because there is no place like home. I gave it five stars because it made [me] have all of these emotions like sadness, happiness, and I was wired. I also gave it five stars because Mary Pope Osborne is one of my favorite authors. I love her series Magic Tree House they are the best.” ~Tabitha, age 11 on Magic Tree House 30: Hurricane Heroes in Texas

We missed the smiling faces and fun programs that in-person Summer Reading brings, but it was great to see so many kids and their families choose to invest their time in reading. Studies show that reading for just 20 minutes a day can help prevent summer slide (loss of reading level) during the summer. We know these kids are on track to jump back into the school year as strong readers!

Speaking of school, the next MCLS column will feature ways we’re partnering with local school districts to help support their students’ virtual needs. We’re shifting public hours at some of our branches, offering reserved internet access, and adding online tutoring and test prep services to our offerings. If you would like to help, or know of a way MCLS can better support area schools, drop by, call, or email anytime. Have a great school year!

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