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When school is out, summer reading is in

By Staff | Jun 23, 2011

This big basket is full of prizes, which will be awarded weekly as part of Captiva Memorial Library’s summer read program.

According to the calendar, summer has officially begun. Don’t allow the slow, hazy days of summer on the islands equate to endless boredom. Let a gripping book come to the rescue.

Now is the time to grab a book and head to a shady corner on the lanai or to the library on Sanibel or Captiva. Many islanders delight in a good book for some relaxation, while willing away the hot days of summer. For kids, summer break doesn’t have to mean a break from learning.

The Sanibel Public Library is “Reading for Others” this summer season. As part of the summer reading program, children and teens will have the chance to reveal their philanthropic spirit by reading for others. The kids read and perform challenges outlined by youth librarian Barb Dunkle to earn books. Each book earned also earns a book for a child in the Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida.

A presentation will be made to the Children’s Hospital of all the books youngsters have selected for them on July 29 during the final program.

The following free programs are at 3 p.m. on Tuesdays:

Youth Librarian Naomi Pastor will debut her Kamishibai Theater, popular during the 1920s to 50s in Japan, during the summer reading program

• June 28 to July 9 – Ninth annual parade float contest

• July 5 – Scavenger Hunt

• July 12 – ShowTime for Kids

• July 19 – Curious Kids from WGCU

• July 26 – John Storms’ World of Reptiles, along with Southwest Florida’s Children’s Hospital

Teen VIP After Hours programs are held from 6 to 7 p.m. each Tuesday. These nights are reserved for teens only, which includes sixth graders and older:

• June 28 – Art in Boxes

• July 5 – Scavenger Hunt

• July 12 – Steampunk Art

• July 19 – “Chip” bag/purse/tire belts

• July 26 – Silk screen T-shirts

Contact Dunkle for a list of items needed to complete your crafts at 472-2483. SPL is located at 770 Dunlop Road and its web site is www.sanlib.org. The Sanibel Public Library Foundation, Inc. and their generous donors fund part of the Summer Reading Programs.

The Captiva Memorial Library will celebrate “One World, Many Stories” for children 6 years or older. All of the following programs are free, but tickets are required and can be found at the library, located at 11560 Chapin Lane, before each event.

On the line up:

• World of Reptiles with John Storms, June 30

• Tales from India by Katie Adams, July 7

• Explore the World by Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge, July 14

• Adventures here, there and everywhere by Showtime for Kids, July 21

• Explore Japan, July 28

Teens can “Read it! Watch it! Win it!” until the end of July. If you are interested in winning prizes and books; want to know what to read next; or want to be entertained during those hot summer days, the teen summer reading program is for you.

Here is how it works: Get teen bucks by reviewing books and attending programs. Earn two teen bucks for every “Read it, Watch it, Win it” program you attend and three teen bucks for every book you review. You may not submit more than three reviews per day, for a total of 21 per week.

The next teen event, Steampunk Jewelry, is at 3 p.m. July 16. Steampunk is really two things – a sub-genre of science fiction that imagines technology developed from steam-powered cogs and gears, and a movement that fosters a do-it-yourself attitude toward beautifully crafted, but functional things. Jewelry is one of the most expressive mediums of the Steampunk movement.

Discover and create cool unisex necklaces or bracelets. Elements like antique keys, watch faces, nuts and bolts, clogs, lace, ribbon and beads will be used to create one-of-a-kind pieces.

On July 30, bring all of your teen bucks to the library and join them for an end of the summer party, plus get a free book and use your teen bucks to win prizes and bid on all sort of cool items in the auction. You must have teen bucks to attend the party, which will be at 2 p.m.

“I see kids year after year,” noted Naomi Pastor, youth librarian at Captiva. “They are from all over the country visiting grandparents or other islanders.”

Pastor will debut her Kamishibai Theater. The wood theater “screen” opens to reveal large cards with artfully drawn characters. The theater gained popularity in Japan during the 1920s through the 1950s, until television gained its popularity in households.

The Captiva Memorial Library will also have weekly drawings for a prize out of the large whicker basket; an Animals Around the World poster each week, for which kids will use critical library skills to solve the clues; and a seven-clue game, in which kids use books, the data base or any of the library’s resources.

“Kids pre-kindergarten age or entering kindergarten can participate with adult assistance,” noted Pastor.

While these programs are geared towards keeping kids reading this summer, adults can pick a page-turner from the library or one of the local bookstores. A few of the island stores share their summer reading lists:

At Island Book Nook, co-owner Melanie Wiford said she has trouble keeping books by Lee Child in the store. There are many Stewart Woods and James Patterson readers on the island, as well. While the Book Nook exclusively offers used books, patrons often turn to it for books in a series.

“Local authors are always popular,” noted Wiford.

For young adult males, Wiford recommends “The Last Pirate” and “The Cajun Pirate” by Wilson Hawthorn. The stories are based in the area and involve treasure and hurricanes. She also recommended “Hunger Games” by Suzanne Collins, the first in a three-book series. This is a popular read for kids, which involves a little fantasy about the future in this country. “Catching Fire” and “Mocking Jay” follow this book.

Laura Barbara at MacIntosh Books and Paper, 2407 Periwinkle Way, recommended the following for kids:

“Theodosia” by R.L. LaFevers – is about a little girl whose parents are archeologists and run a museum. The little girl is a bit neglected by her parents, but she knows more about the museum than anyone else.

“Diamond Willow” by Helen Frost – Set in interior Alaska, it tells the story of 12-year-old Willow, a dogmusher, and her lead dog, Roxy. The story is told in diamond-shaped poems in Willow’s voice, with prose sections in the voices of animal characters. It’s a great choice for middle school students.

“My Side of the Mountain” by Jean Craighead George – For boys who like to read, this book tells the story of a young boy who learns about nature and himself. It is a winner of the Newberry Honor Award in 1960 and was loosely adapted into a movie in 1969.

“Flavia de Luce” by Alan Bradley and “The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate” by Jacqueline Kelly – These two books are wonderful for any age, according to Laura Barbara.

Owner of MacIntosh, Susie Holley said she is really looking forward to reading “State of Wonder” by Anne Patchett, which is a murder mystery about a medical researcher, who goes to the Amazon. She also recommended the following for adults:

“Swamplandia” by Karen Russell – A fun book about a quarky family that owns an alligator theme park in the Everglades.

For non-fiction lovers, Holly had these recommendations:

“The Greater Journey” by David McCullough – his latest historical book that deals with Americans living in Paris during the 1800s, the effect the city had on them and the contribution the experience had on the development of the United States.

“Area 51” by Annie Jacobson – a very interesting read for those who believe there might be other life forms out there.

“Star Island” by Carl Hiasson – his latest work takes place in Miami, where the famous island is located. This satirical book deals with celebrity mystery and is perfect for anyone who enjoys fantasy and science fiction. Holly rates this book as a very good beach read.