In the summers during middle school, I would to ride the cross-town bus to get from my dad’s place on the outskirts of Napa to the downtown terminal then walk a few blocks to the main library. I used to love doing this–no surprise as I was drawn to anything that afforded me independence and books.
I don’t know if there was a summer reading program going on at the Napa Public Library at the time. There probably was but I doubt I would have made any headway on it. I read the John D. Fitzgerald’s The Great Brain series and then Daniel Pinkwater’s The Snarkout Boys and the Baconburg Horror (repeatedly) for the remainder of the summer.
Anyway, I do love summer reading challenges. Our local library rewards the kids with a choice from the prize bin and then an ice cream cone (the ice cream parlor rewards the kids with a photo of them eating their cone to their wall). I mean, come on! How can you not feel great about being a reader? I did it for nothing. These kids are getting prizes, ice cream and fame.
I wanted to add something to the summer reading experience so I made this chart. You’ll get nothing at the end of it except a high five from Bigfoot.
Actually, if you’re a library and you want to use this for your summer reading program, please feel free (download here). You could white out where it says “Bigfoot” and stamp your branch’s logo. Let me know if you do.
As a side note, as I type this, I’m remembering vividly a smell associated with that library. In fact, it’s the smell of all the libraries of my childhood. Was there something in the composition of paper or colored inks back then?