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Summer reading celebrates anniversary of moon landing

By Hope Loman

Rowan Public Library

Rowan Public Library started its annual summer reading program for all ages on June 10, complete with free programs, prize drawings, movie screenings and more.

This year’s theme celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Apollo moon landing with a space motif and the slogan “A Universe of Stories.” If you want to check out recommendations for some books set in outer space— and get a jump on recording pages for your reading log or READsquared account — look below:

First up, we have a few selections from our juvenile fiction and non-fiction collections. In “The Library of Ever,” by Zeno Alexander, main character Lenora discovers a secret ultimate library that contains all of the universe’s wisdom. When a dark nothingness tries to destroy the library, she must learn all of its secrets to keep it safe.

In “Seventh Grade vs. The Galaxy,” by Joshua Levy, the novel opens with Jack and his classmates circling Jupiter in the rocket ship that is their classroom. When Jack catapults his spaceship light- years away and into the clutches of evil aliens, it’s up to him and his friends to get everyone home safely.

Dan Brown’s “Rocket to the Moon!” takes readers through the extensive history of rocket building. From the 1969 moon landing all the way back to ancient China, kids can learn about this scientific feat.

Finally, there is “The Night Sky: A Frozen Discovery Book,” by Paul Dichter, where fans of Olaf, Anna and Elsa can join them on a journey to discover the science behind the Northern Lights.

For fans of young adult literature, we start off with “The Pioneer” by Bridget Tyler. In this novel, Jo joins a band of pioneers to build an Earth colony on a distant planet. Once there, she discovers a secret that could destroy everything the colonists have worked so hard for.

Next up, “Battle Born” by Cassandra Rose Clarke is a novel based on the popular HALO video games. In this book, four high school students must fight the Covenant alien alliance to save their world.

If you are in the mood to read a biography, there’s “Hidden Figures: The Untold True Story of Four African-American Women Who Helped Launch Our Nation into Space,” by Margot Lee Shetterly. This fascinating book explores the real-life contributions of NASA’s African-American women mathematicians to the space program.

Similarly, there is “Women in Space: 23 Stories of First Flights, Scientific Missions, and Gravity-Breaking Adventures,” by Karen Bush Gibson. This collection demonstrates the vital role women have played in the quest for scientific understanding in a range of studies including astronomy.

Last but not least, here are some recommendations for adults from our general fiction and non-fiction collections: In “Space Opera,” by Catherynne M. Valente, the fate of the planet Earth lies with a rock band competing in a universe-wide musical contest. This book is described as perfect for fans of both the “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” and the Eurovision contest.

Steve White’s “Her Majesty’s American” imagines an alternate future where the British Empire never crumbled. In his thriller, Commander Robert Rogers leads the space ships of Her Majesty’s Navy to keep the spaceways safe.

In “How to Live in Space: Everything You Need to Know for the Not-So-Distant Future,” Colin Stuart teaches potential space explorers everything from training to space tourism in his handy guide.

And finally, “Rocket Men: The Daring Odyssey of Apollo 8 and the Astronauts Who Made Man’s First Journey to the Moon,” gives a biographical account of the Apollo astronauts. Go inside the story of the three historic astronauts who took on the challenge of the first mission to the moon.

These are only a handful of the many books available at the Rowan Public Library that capture the spirit of the summer reading theme. For more suggestions, check out the Rowan Public Library catalog or call 704-216-8228 today.

Get Ready for Father’s Day: June 14, 2-4 p.m., headquarters. Children will be able to make something special for their fathers, grandfathers or other special parental figures in their lives, play games and have a Father’s Day-themed storytime. A responsible caretaker (age 16+) must accompany children 8 and under. This program is geared for ages 3-10. Please register in advance at 704-216-8234.

Children’s program — Didgeridoo Down Under: June 18, 2 p.m.,South; June 19, 2 p.m. East; June 20, 10 a.m., Cleveland; June 20, 2 p.m., headquarters. A high-energy, Australia-themed show combines music, culture, puppetry, storytelling and more. This show includes space posters, intergalactic storytelling and other “celestial” surprises. This is a School Age Summer Reading program designed for rising first- through fifth-graders, though all ages are welcome. A responsible caretaker (age 16+) must accompany children 8 and under. Program lasts 45-60 minutes. For more details, call 704-216-8234.

Teen program — Face off! June 17, 3:30 p.m., South; June 18, 3:30 p.m., headquarters; June 20, 3:30 p.m., East. Learn how to apply sci-fi/monster costume make-up and become out of this world. This is a Teen Summer Reading Program, designed for rising sixth- through 12th-graders. Program lasts 90 minutes. For more details, call 704-216-8229.

Summer Reading film series: “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” June 17, 5:30 p.m., East; June 18, 6:30 p.m., headquarters; June 22, 10 a.m., South. Teen Miles Morales becomes Spider-Man and joins forces with five counterparts from other dimensions in this 2018 movie (117 minutes., PG). This film is part of the Summer Reading Film Series, and a responsible caretaker (age 16+) must accompany children 8 and under. For more details, contact your nearest branch.

Mystery Cinema: June 18, South. Experience Guy Ritchie’s “Sherlock Holmes” (2009, 128 minutes), starring Robert Downey Jr. as the titular character and Jude Law as John Watson. This film is rated PG-13, so an adult (age 18+) must accompany anyone 13 and under. For more details, call 704-216-7730.

Displays: Headquarters, Photowalk and RPL Summer Reading, Universe of Stories; East, homemade soap by Rachel Mowry; South, Universe of Stories by Stephanie Reister.

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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