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So many options for building a better world

By Hope Loman

Rowan Public Library

If you have noticed any of the promotional materials Rowan Public Library has circulated recently, you might know that our summer reading program is already in full swing and set to run through August.

I have to admit that I like the theme this year, “Build a better world,” because of the various ways it can be interpreted, something which I and the other librarians explored as we created the different programs that are planned for this season. From building things, to connecting with other individuals (especially those with different backgrounds or from other cultures), learning about conservation and the environment or even becoming educated on new and emerging technology, there are multiple ways for us to build a better world together at Rowan Public Library this summer.

For those participating in summer reading, I encourage you to check out something related to the building a better world theme as you read to earn points or log hours. Even if you and your family are unable to participate, I still recommend that you browse our collection for some fitting literature. Broad enough to encompass different genres of fiction, non-fiction, and even graphic novels, with a little searching, I’m sure you will find something both enjoyable and educational.

Here are some recommendations, separated by age group:

For younger patrons, there are a wide variety of subjects to choose from in the juvenile non-fiction section. “50 Things You Should Know About the Environment” is a great introduction to Earth’s habitats, climate change and pollution, while “50 Things You Should Know About Inventions” shares the stories behind the creation of the bicycle, dynamite and other items.

For those that are more interested in construction, the “You Choose Engineering Marvels” series covers engineering feats such as the Empire State Building and the Transcontinental Railroad.

Finally, if your children are more interested in reading fiction, they might wish to read books like “The Watsons Go to Birmingham,” by Christopher Paul Curtis or “One Crazy Summer,” by Rita Williams-Garcia, both of which are award-winning novels set in the midst of the Civil Rights movement.

Building a better world is a recurring subject in most of the YA dystopian books that have recently become popular, such as “Divergent” and its sequels or James Dashner’s “Maze Runner” series. Even Jay Asher’s “Thirteen Reasons Why,” the source material for the popular Netflix series, fits in with its treatment of relationships and the importance of being kind to others.

In terms of YA non-fiction, there are selections such as “It’s Getting Hot in Here” by Bridget Heos, a guide to climate change and global warming, and “The Story of Seeds” by Nancy Castaldo, which chronicles where food comes from and where it is going.

Teens who read graphic novels will also enjoy the three volumes of “March” by John Lewis, a firsthand account of the author’s struggle for civil and human rights from the 1960s through the present day.

Finally, adults also have a wide range of choices to explore on this theme. “Beyond Earth” by Charles Wohlforth ­is for all hopeful space travelers, outlining how Saturn’s moon Titan could one day host human life.

Summer Reading Registration: Ongoing. Three age categories: Children (newborns-rising fifth-graders), Teens (rising sixth- through 12th-graders), and Adults (ages 18+). In addition to tracking reading hours, 2017 Summer Reading festivities include special programs and a variety of prizes. Contact your nearest branch for full details.

Baby Time: A highly interactive program for infants up to 23 months with a parent or caregiver; 30 minutes. through July 7. Headquarters, Wednesday, 10 a.m.; East branch,  Mondays, 10 a.m.; South Regional, Wednesdays, 10 a.m.

Toddler Time: 18 to 35 months. Highly interactive, 30-minute program with a parent or caregiver. Through July 7. Headquarters, Thursdays, 10:30 a.m.; East, Tuesdays, 11 a.m.; South, Wednesdays, 10:30 a.m.

Preschool Time: Each program last 30-45 minutes. Doors close at 10:40 a.m.; 3- to 5-years-old. Through July 28. All at 10:30 a.m. — Headquarters, Tuesdays; East, Thursdays; and South, Mondays.

School age: Rising first- through fifth-graders; 45-60 minutes. Storytellers, educators and entertainers provide different programs each week for seven weeks. To enter the weekly prize drawing, “Reader Book Reviews” should be turned in before the program begins. Headquarters, Thursdays, 2 p.m.; East, Wednesdays, 2 p.m.; South, Tuesdays at 2 p.m.

Program schedule: June 26-30, Piedmont Players; July 3-7, Ro & Mo Stories; July 10-14, Dan Nicholas Wildlife; July 17-21, Captain Jim; July 24-28, Lee Street theatre.

Cleveland: School-Age programs at Town Hall, 302 E. Main St., on Thursdays at 10 a.m. Patrons in Cleveland may report summer reading hours during the programs.

Teen Summer Reading: June 26-29, Water Balloon Catapults, build catapults and have a balloon war. All at 3:30 p.m. Mondays, East Branch; Tuesdays at headquarters; Thursdays at South Rowan Regional. Snacks will be provided.

Program schedule: July 3-6, Coloring With My Community, learn about art and its impact with Brittany Gaddis; July 10-13, Build a Better Bridge, complete the bridge and tower challenge; July 17-20, Mini Model United Nations, become an expert on a deadly zombie pandemic that threatens the world and stop the next outbreak; July 24-27, Quiz Bowl; July 28, National Teen Lock-in, 6:30-10:30 p.m. at library headquarters; permission slip required for teens to participate.

Book Bites Book Club: June 27, 6-7 pm., South Regional, Free, open to the public. Join this free book club where we discuss a different book each month and serve refreshments loosely related to the theme. This month’s book is “Their Eyes Were Watching God” by Zora Neale Hurston. Need a copy? Call 704-216-7731.

Displays: Headquarters, music box collection (Jennifer Hands) and Plein Air art; East, “Build a Better World” summer reading celebration; South, stained glass.

Gallery at headquarters: Photographs and glass work by Maria Hall.

Literacy: Call the Rowan County Literacy Council at 704-216-8266 for more information on teaching or receiving literacy tutoring for English speakers or for those for whom English is a second language.



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