This blog represents most of the newspaper columns (appearing in various Colorado Community Newspapers and Yourhub.com) written by me, James LaRue, during the time in which I was the director of the Douglas County Libraries in Douglas County, Colorado. (Some columns are missing, due to my own filing errors.) This blog covers the time period from April 11, 1990 to January 12, 2012.

Unless I say so, the views expressed here are mine and mine alone. They may be quoted elsewhere, so long as you give attribution. The dates are (at least according my records) the dates of publication in one of the above print newspapers.

The blog archive (web view) is in chronological order. The display of entries, below, seems to be in reverse order, new to old.

All of the mistakes are of course my own responsibility.

Wednesday, August 11, 1993

August 11, 1993 - summer reading program ending

This week's column is by Children's Librarian Carol Foreman: a last, rousing word of encouragement for those few children who still haven't discovered just how "cool" reading can be.

What have you been doing this summer? Taking a vacation? Refinishing that old oak table that Aunt Mary gave you?

Or, perhaps you, like hundreds of other parents in Douglas County, have been busy hauling your children to every lesson or game or amusement park in the state!

Have you been to the library yet this summer? If you haven't, then you might not know that a lot of summer reading has been taking place for the past two months, and your children of any age are invited to participate. The best part of all is that, unlike those expensive (but fun) amusement parks, this is free.

Our summer reading program theme this year is "Books and All That Jazz!" which will continue at all Douglas Public Libraries until Labor Day, September 6, 1993. To sign up is easy. Just go to your favorite or closest branch, ask for a registration card, and pick up your reading log. After reading 24 books, children will receive a very special blue ribbon, a certificate, and one coupon each to South Shore Water Park, Elitches, and Skate City.

So, you've been thinking that your child has read every book in the library at least once and they could not possibly read 24 more books? Well, let me make a couple of suggestions.

Any book by Jean Craighead George is wonderful for grades 4th, 5th, and 6th. Of particular note is The Missing 'Gator of Gumbo Lembo. Another good author for the intermediate reader is Kenneth Thomasma, who writes Native American stories. The Kingdom by the Sea by Robert Westall is a wonderful book about a 12 year old boy and a stray dog who travel through war-torn England in search of safety.

If you have younger readers or listeners, try The Cow Who Wouldn't Come Down by Paul Brett Johnson. It's a whimsical story about Miss Rosemary, who tries everything to coax her flying cow, Gertrude, down from the sky. Another funny story is A Pile of Pigs by Judith Ross Enderle. The farmyard pigs, inspired by the poster for the circus on the barn wall, decide to make a pyramid of pigs to peek over the wall and see what the sheep are doing. The result, of course, is a pile of pigs.

I can also recommend anything by Dayal Kaur Khalsa, especially My Family Vacation--if you have ever travelled with children in a car you will even want to own a copy. I Because dinosaurs are so popular this summer, you might also want to consider Dinosaurs at the Supermarket by Lindsay Camp, Four and Twenty Dinosaurs by Bernard Most or Dinosaurs, Dinosaurs by Byron Barton.

If your children have already completed their 24 books, and your summer is dwindling down to just waiting for the tomatoes to ripen, the library has another suggestion to liven up the end of summer. You can join us at the Douglas County Fair Parade on August 14.

Our entry is entitled "Reading Through the Ages". Plan to dress up in a costume from your favorite era--1920's flapper, 1960's hippie, or perhaps a 1950's bobby socker--and bring your favorite book to carry along. We will line up at the Douglas County Judicial Building parking lot around 9:00-9:30 a.m., but if you have any questions, or wish to sign up call Cindy Murphy at 688-8752.

With the advent of year-round school, summer seems to be getting shorter and shorter. There is, however, enough time to choose that special book and settle down in a cool place to read. Reading is still one of the undeniable joys of summer.

See you at the library.

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