Sunday, July 19, 2009

Pirates vs. Ninjas

This summer, our Summer Reading Club Theme is “Treasured Islands.” The idea is that each branch is like a little island within the city – an island of culture and learning. And of course, many librarians are including pirate-themed activities as part of their summer line-up. This however, wasn’t enough for me. I decided to bring in that age-old conflict: Pirates vs. Ninjas. So, keeping with our islands theme, it’s the Caribbean Islands, vs. the Islands of Japan.

For the past couple of years I’ve done a program called Read-a-Ton. I have all our summer reading participants bring in what books they’ve been reading that week, and we weigh them on a kitchen scale. We keep track of how many pounds of books everyone in the community has been reading all summer. Last summer, I think we read 183 pounds of books! So far, everyone has been endearingly honest with their weigh-ins. I fully expected to have to fend off ridiculous claims of books read when I started doing Read-a-Ton, but that really hasn’t been the case.

This year, while brainstorming what to do for summer reading club, I decided to mix things up a bit. Children will still get all the fun of weighing their summer reading, however, now they get to vote for what kind of end-of-summer party we’ll have. Each pound of books counts as a vote that can be applied to either pirates OR ninjas. Who will emerge victorious? Will we be hosting a shindig suitable for buccaneers, or a soirée fit for martial-arts masters? Only time, (and our young readers) will tell!

(Image created by Wellington Grey under a Creative Commons license)

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