Tag Archives: summer reading club

Home Run for the Summer

Question: Why does it get hot after a baseball game?

Answer: Because all the fans leave!

(If you want to take a swing at a few baseball jokes yourself, check out Baseball Jokes by Pam Rosenberg for more. You’ll be the hit of the dugout!)

Now, down to the business of baseball – a great summer pastime, whether you play in a league or just like to throw the ball around with friends. Winnipeg Public Library loves the baseball + summer pairing, and we have some great family-friendly summer activities and new baseball books to help get you warmed up and ready for your turn at bat!

If you have any young baseball fans at home, make sure you get them signed up for the TD Summer Reading Club, a fun bilingual reading club for children ages 0-12! It’s free to join, just head to your nearest branch to get your kit. For every 5 days of reading marked off on the calendar, kids get a ballot entry for our summer prize draws! One of the prizes is tickets to a Winnipeg Goldeyes game on Sunday, July 28, which is Library Day at the Ballpark

And, since the Winnipeg Goldeyes love to read, they’ll be joining us at the branches below to read stories! Click on the image below to register.


Anybody’s Game: Kathryn Johnston, the First Girl to Play Little League Baseball by Heather Lang

In 1950, Kathryn Johnston wanted to play Little League, but an unwritten rule kept girls from trying out. So she cut off her hair and tried out as a boy under the nickname Tubby. She made the team and changed Little League forever. A great story about what it means to want to do something so badly you’re willing to break the rules to do it and how breaking the rules can lead to change.

This nonfiction baseball picture book is a great, inspirational way to celebrate the upcoming baseball season.

No Fear! by Steve Moore

Volume 1 of the King of the Bench series follows the experiences of benchwarmer Steve, who struggles to conquer his fear of getting hit with a baseball before his first year on the school team is ruined. Reminiscent of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, it’s a good choice for sports fans and benchwarmers alike!

The rhino in right field by Stacy DeKeyser

Growing up in 1948 Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Nick wants to change his life. For twelve years, he’s done what his hard-working, immigrant parents want him to do. Now he’s looking for his own American dream and he thinks he’s found it. The local baseball team is having a batboy contest, and Nick wants to win.

But the contest is on a Saturday–the day Nick has to work in his father’s shop. There’s one other tiny–well, not so tiny–problem. A 2,000-pound rhinoceros named Tank. Nick and his friends play ball in the city zoo–and Tank lives just beyond the right field fence. Nick’s experience getting the ball out of Tank’s pen has left him frozen with fear whenever a fly ball comes his way.

This book mixes history with sports, along with friendship and the encouragement to work hard for the things that matter most to you.

Swing by Kwame Alexander

Noah and his best friend Walt want to become cool, make the baseball team, and win over Sam, the girl Noah has loved for years. When Noah finds old love letters, Walt hatches a plan to woo Sam. But as Noah’s love life and Walt’s baseball career begin, the letters alter everything.

Have any favourite baseball books or jokes you’d like to share? Let me know in the comments!

Happy reading!


Calling All Teens!

Summer is in full swing, and if you’ve got teenagers at home, they’re likely taking full advantage of their new found freedom.  Sleeping in, watching movies, hanging out with friends, and soaking up the sun!  Inevitably though, that wonderful sense of freedom quickly turns to boredom, and those same teenagers start looking for something to keep them busy.  A new challenge.  Something to inspire them.

Well, the library may just be the answer!  Our online Teen Summer Reading Club is a great way for teens to explore their creativity, with contests for writers, artists, photographers and book lovers.  Club membership is open to all teens in Grades 7 though 12, and in order to register, teens simply need to create an account on our teen website, Booked!  From there, members can post their creative work to our website, for all to enjoy, and at the end of the summer, the best of the best in each contest category will win an awesome prize!

If teens are looking for something to do with a few friends, the library also has a ton of really cool programs!  Like Scratch Programming!  Teens will learn the basics of the popular programming language Scratch, and spend the day creating, collaborating, and discovering endless possibilities while designing a video game or animated story.  Or our Words Out Loud program!  Teens will join local slam legend Steve Locke to explore tools of communication and creativity by writing new poems and practicing sharing them in their own unique, authentic voice.

And of course, as always, the library has an amazing collection of books for teens to explore.  Summer is the perfect opportunity for kicking back with a good book — no grueling book report required!  Check out these amazing books for some chill poolside reading!

The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli
Avoiding relationships to protect her sensitive heart, plus-sized Molly supports her once-cynical twin, Cassie, when the latter has her own bout of lovesickness, a situation that is complicated by sibling dynamics and an unexpected romantic triangle.

Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh
The daughter of a prominent samurai, Mariko has long known her place. She may be an accomplished alchemist, whose cunning rivals that of her twin brother Kenshin, but because she is not a boy, her future has always been out of her hands.

Children of Eden by Joey Graceffa
In a future defined by environmental devastation and the all-seeing EcoPanopticon, Rowan, an illegal second child, rebels against an impossible choice by escaping her home for a night of both friendship and tragedy.

Geekerella by Ashley Poston
Geek girl Elle Wittimer lives and breathes Starfield, the classic sci-fi series she grew up watching with her late father. So when she sees a cosplay contest for a new Starfield movie, she has to enter. The prize? An invitation to the ExcelsiCon Cosplay Ball, and a meet-and-greet with the actor slated to play Federation Prince Carmindor in the reboot. With savings from her gig at the Magic Pumpkin food truck (and her dad’s old costume), Elle’s determined to win–unless her stepsisters get there first… Teen actor Darien Freeman used to live for cons before he was famous. Now they’re nothing but autographs and awkward meet-and-greets. Playing Carmindor is all he’s ever wanted, but the Starfield fandom has written him off as just another dumb heartthrob. As ExcelsiCon draws near, Darien feels more and more like a fake–until he meets a girl who shows him otherwise.





TeenSRC 2014 – Time For Some Summer Fun!


The end of June always means big things for Winnipeg Public Library’s Teen services, because it marks the start of our Teen Summer Reading Club (TeenSRC) and the start of our busiest time of the year. From now until the end of August, we’ve got 20 teen programs, 8 weekly trivia contests, six summer-long creative contests and a whole bunch of prizes to give away.


The mainstay of the Teen Summer Reading club is our 8 weekly newsletters. Each Monday, we send out an email to all of our TeenSRC members with book picks, upcoming events and of course, that week’s trivia question. Everyone who answers our trivia question correctly (assuming they meet the eligibility requirements – must be a teen ages 13-17 and must be able to pick up the prize at one of our WPL locations) is entered in our random draw for that week’s prize. If you know of any teens who are big musical theatre fans, tell them to register NOW because next week’s prize includes tickets to the Broadway Across Canada production of Wicked at the Centennial Concert Hall!

For teens who want to spend the summer reading, we’ve got 17  hand-picked booklists full of fresh new titles in every reading category imaginable. Browse the lists on the SRC website or pin & save your favorites from our Pinterest page.


Of course, the crowing star of each SRC year (in our opinion, at least) is the summer-long creative contests.


Each year, we ask teens to submit stories, poetry, artwork, photography and book reviews and then pick a winner and honourable mention (chosen by a panel of judges). Each year the quality of work that we see just astounds us. Head over to the teen Mash Up page to see what our SRC members have come up with so far!

Looking forward to another great year of TeenSRC!




20 minutes aaaaand Go!

Summer funHere at Winnipeg Public Library Youth Services we’ve been getting ready for summer for some time and for good reason:  it’s our busiest, most program-filled time of the year.  Our goal is to provide you and your family with quality programs and services that are full of learning opportunities and – of course – lots of fun!

But it’s MORE than just fun and games
Our summer programming for children and families has some serious purpose behind it, though.  Just Google “summer learning loss” and you’ll see what I’m getting at.  The learning backslide that can take place over July and August can really eat into all the progress to be made come the fall (one study noted that teachers can spend between 4 and 6 weeks re-teaching material).  And, of course, it’s no surprise that summer learning loss is even more of an issue for families that don’t have ready access to a wide range of high-interest reading material for their children.  This fact sheet,  produced by Scholastic, talks a bit about the consequences of income gaps but also clues you in to some great, research-based “good news” about preventing summer learning loss (Hint:  having a ton of great reading material around the house and letting children pick what they like goes a long way to getting – and staying – school-ready.)

Brother and sister reading together

Here’s where we come in!  Year-round, Winnipeg Public Library provides you access to thousands of titles to make reading an enjoyable – and totally affordable – habit for children and families.

Remember we offer both both print and eBook  formats. For eBook options you’ll definitely want to check out all our Tumblebook products, along with BookFlix and Disney Online eBooks – all available to you streaming and free with your Library card.

Beyond our collections we layer on a wide-range of programs for children of all ages and, in the summer,  an amazing reading incentive program:  the TD Summer Reading Club.  (Here’s the link to the national program’s website, with great art by illustrator Matt James.)

A daily habit

This year we’re running our TD Summer Reading Club (theme: Go!  so get ready for travel and adventure-inspired programming!) just a bit differently.  Instead of tracking the number of books that children read (or that families read together) we’re encouraging participants to track 20 minutes of reading a day.  This change reflects the growing consensus that many of the benefits that come from being a strong reader are based more on the activity being part of a regular routine (versus how many titles a child may be able to complete in a given time).

Our goal is to help you make your children life-long readers and we think encouraging this kind of consistency through programs like the TD Summer Reading Club does just that.  If you’re looking for ideas for ways to get going with 20-minutes-a-day, this tip sheet may help.  (And be sure to check out this neat infographic on why not to skip that 20 minutes!)

So what are you waiting for?

We launch our Summer Reading program this Saturday, June 22nd at the Millennium Library.  Join us at 10:30 a.m. in the Children’s Services area for a celebration featuring members of the Goldeyes, mascot Goldie and the zany musical talents of Mr. Mark the One Man Band! (Note: the last time Mr. Mark was on stage with Goldeyes players at the library, the players all ended up with buckets on their heads, getting played like human drums. It should be a good show!).  Be among the first in the city to get your free Summer Reading kit complete with an activity booklet, stickers, a fun passport, bookmarks and – most important of all – your reading tracking calendar (track all those 20-minute days for chances to win all kinds of great prizes).

Stay tuned to winnipeg.ca/library to check in with our @ the Library newsletter when it hits our homepage later this week.  It will have the full listings of all our programming options for you and your family.  In the meantime, our Summer Reading page with links is up and running – have a look here.

Happy reading – see you at the Library this summer!


Gearing up for summer – Youth Programming Teaser!!

Not that we’d know it from the weather we’re having, but summer is almost upon us!  Switching out wardrobes and jackets, heading out for more walks, dusting off the bicycles and – yes – making plans for how to keep kids and teens busy during 2 months of lazy, hazy days.

Here at Winnipeg Public Library we’re thinking about that last one a lot (so hopefully you can think about it a bit less!).  Our July/August @ the Library newsletter will hit our website later this month (hardcopies just after that) and I can tell you that the Teen, Tween (ages 9-12), and Children’s sections are jam-packed with programming options.

goAt the heart of our programming for children (ages 0-12) is all the fun that goes along with our roll-out of the TD Summer Reading Club (registration begins June 24th).  Have a look at the national site for a taste of the theme (Go!) for this year’s programming and a peek at the great artwork created by artist Matt James. (Check out I Know Here by Laurel Croza to see some of Matt’s illustration work.)

For teens (ages 13-17) we have something designed by us especially for them:  Teen SRC – a completely on-line summer reading club experience comes complete with chances for teens to win a ton of great prizes by showing off their creative talents.  Last year over 200 teens across the city registered and checked in with us throughout the summer and we’re looking to reach even more this year.

Early bird registration for Teen SRC is open right now.  Teens that register by June 28 will be entered in a prize draw.

Stay tuned to this space later this month for the complete low-down on summer programming and great tips for preventing summer learning loss.  “See” you then!

– Monique

TeenSRC 2012: Contests, Prizes and More!

Teen Summer Reading Club 2012

Hope everyone’s enjoying their summer so far! Here at Winnipeg Public Library we’re so excited to say that we’ve already received tons of entries for our TeenSRC summer-long contests and weekly quizzes!

So you may be asking what exactly is TeenSRC? It’s the 2012 Online Teen Summer Reading Club! It runs July 3 – August 26th, and is open exclusively to teens ages 13-17. TeenSRC is *THE* place to be for quizzes, contests, book suggestions, and fun things to do in Winnipeg all summer long! When teens sign up with an email address on our ‘JOIN THE CLUB’ page, they’ll be joining a group of other teens from across Winnipeg who also love to read, talk about books and share that love with other people!

What do you get for signing up?

Join the Club*8 Weekly Newsletters*

Every Monday you will receive an e-newsletter in your inbox. Each newsletter includes:

  • Weekly trivia contest (you have until the following Sunday at midnight to answer the question and 1 winner will receive a prize each week) 
  • The latest entries for the 4 summer-long contests
  • Suggestions for what to read next
  • A listing of upcoming teen programs and events

What do I read next?


This summer, we’ve put together a huge array of booklists of all sorts of genres and styles. We’ve included tons of new books but also many classics, series lists, ebooks, audiobooks, graphic novels, manga and more! Check ‘em out!  You’re bound to find something of interest!

Fun Stuff to Do*Fun Stuff to Do*

There’s always cool stuff for teens to do in and around Winnipeg, both in our library branches and around the city. Check out our nifty calendar of summer activities for great ideas for keeping busy and making the most of the summer!

Enter to win*4 Summer-Long Contests*

There are also 4 summer-long contests that you can enter this summer. Enter any of the contests as many times as you like! Get creative and show of your love of books or show off your creative talents. And if you  see a book review, top ten list or mash up on Booked  that you  like, don’t be shy to post your thoughts and comments either!

Best Book Review Contest (entries are posted to Reviews): We want you to tell us about a great book that you’ve read! Give us the good, the bad, and the ugly — whether you loved it, or hated it — and voice your opinion! It can be a book you just read, or a book you read a while ago. Just write a review, and share it with the world.

Best Top Ten “Read-Alike” list (entries are posted to  Top Tens): This summer, we want you to give us a top ten list of awesome read-alikes. Pick one of your favourite books, and then tell us about 9 other books that are similar in some way.  The list is up to you! The formula is simple: If you like (this book) then you’ll probably like (these books). Just don’t forget to tell us why!

Best Photography/Artwork Contest (entries are posted to  The Mashup):  Grab your camera, or pick up a paintbrush, and share with us what makes Manitoba “home” to you. Get in touch with your artistic side, and send us your best photo or original piece of artwork – and don’t forget, we want you to tell us WHY the photo/artwork is significant to you. Don’t leave us guessing!

Best Short Story/Poem Contest (entries are posted to  The Mashup): This summer, we want you to put pen to paper (or finger to keyboard), and tap into your creative side. Whether you end up writing a short story or a poem, we want to read your stuff! So go ahead, write about anything you want, and send it to us! We’re certain that Manitoba’s next great author is out there somewhere!

All contest submissions must be posted on our teen website, Booked. The best entries will be selected after August 26th, and the winner of the contest will receive an awesome prize pack!

Summer-long Contests – Rules and Regulations: Beginning July 3rd you can start submitting entries for the 4 Summer-Long Contests. All entries are submitted online to the Booked website. Submissions will be judged based on quality and creativity. The best entry will be selected after August 26th, and the winner of the contest will be notified by e-mail. The winner will receive a prize to be picked up at one of our 20 library branches. Participants may enter as often as they like. There is no limit to the number of entries each person may submit. The contest is open to teens ages 13-17. Children aged 12 and under are welcome to enroll in our Children’s Summer Reading Program. Staff of Winnipeg Public Library and their immediate family are not eligible to win prizes.

Prizes & WinnersBEST OF ALL… *All* contest entries (both from weekly quizzes and summer-long contest entries) will be entered in a final Grand Prize draw at the end of the summer. Check out our PRIZES page for details on what you can win!

The Pwnguin

And don’t forget to visit the TeenSRC website throughout the summer to see what’s new on our SRC Mascot Adventures page! We’ve got an adorable penguin who’s volunteered to pose for TeenSRC and keep us up to date on all the fun stuff he gets up to over the summer… who knows where he’ll turn up next?

SO WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?? Register today! And if you’re not a teen aged 13-17, pass the info along to someone who is!

Join the Club

Questions or comments? Send them to booked@winnipeg.ca!


Battle the Boredom Bug this Summer!

Teenagers.  If you’ve got one in your life, you know that the years between Barbie Dolls and bar hopping can be a tough stage in any adolescent’s life.  Heck, it can be a tough stage for anyone within a 12 foot radius of that adolescent.  Unpredictable moods, incomprehensible behavior, and oh the attitude.  But it’s not all angst and arguments.   In fact, there may even be moments when you are truly inspired by your teen.  After all, this is the next generation of thinkers, artists, scientists, social activists and entrepreneurs we’re talking about.  And yet, that old familiar refrain comes creeping back every summer, mere weeks after the last exam is written:  “I’m bored.”

Cue the library.  This summer, we’ve got fun on lockdown.  And when it comes to teens, we’ve got more than enough to keep them busy — no matter kind of teen you’ve got on your hands.

For the Book Lover!

This year, we’ve taken our Teen Summer Reading Club online, which means that our club is in session 24/7, all summer long.  To sign up for the club, just visit wpl-teens.winnipeg.ca, and tell your teen to register using their email address.  They’ll receive a weekly e-newsletter featuring quizzes, book picks, teen event listings and more.  We’re giving away great prize packs every week!  Teens can also enter our online summer contests by sending us their best photos/artwork, top ten must reads, short stories/poems, and book reviews – all of which will be posted on our website!  The best of the best in each category will also win a great prize.

For the social butterfly, we also have a few Teen Book Clubs that meet all year round to discuss some of the library’s hottest reads.  What a great way to make new friends, and discover some fabulous new books!

For the Go Getter!

If you’ve got a perennial go getter on your hands, why not encourage them to do a little volunteering?!  At the library, we’re always looking for teen volunteers – and summer is the perfect time of year to cram a bit of experience onto that resume.

This summer, we’re looking for teen volunteers to help out with Family Literacy Fun Days.  Volunteers will assist families with young children at activity stations, doing things like playing reading games and making simple book crafts.  So much fun! (Call 311 for more details).

We’re also looking to recruit a few new members to our library’s Youth Advisory Councils.  As YAC members, teens do things like plan and run teen programs, read and review books for the library’s newsletter, write blog posts for the library’s teen website, and provide feedback on design decisions for the library’s teen areas.

For the Teen Techie!

If your teen loves technology, we’ve got an awesome 3 day teen tech workshop that will cover basic and advanced techniques in photo editing using the open source GIMP software (GNU Image Manipulation Program). They’ll learn some cool application techniques such as creating animated gifs and best-practices for photo blogging.  (More info to come in our July/August newsletter.)

Or, get set for beachfront ereading, and let our staff show your teen how to effectively browse the eLibraries Manitoba eBook collection and get the most out of this free service!  They can fill up their iPad or eReader with free eBooks from the library, and never again be without a good book in their pocket. (Check for more info in our July/August newsletter.)

For the Creative Cat!

At the library, crafty is our middle name.  And if your teen has even a hint of Martha Stewart underneath that backwards ball cap, you’ll want to tell them about our craft workshops.  We’ll have them doing everything from making their own jewelry to sewing a mini felt mascot.  All free of charge!

For something a little bit edgier, but equally creative, check out our Piecebooks Program, led by Graffiti Gallery.  Piecebooks are a classic method for urban artists to share and collect artwork, and this summer, teens can learn urban art techniques, including urban writing, stencilling, and marker techniques as we create one of a kind works of art!  At the library?  Yes, at the library. (Again, check our July/August newsletter for details.)

So before the thought even comes to mind, battle the boredom bug this summer, and encourage your teen to participate in a few of the library’s many programs!  There’s bound to be something of interest for your teen!


How to Beat the Boredom

With the end of the school year fast approaching, it’s only a matter of time before that old familiar refrain lands on the ears of parents everywhere:  “I’m boorrrrrrrred.”  Boring summers can be a drag for everyone, so to keep your kids busy this summer, get them involved in Summer Reading Club!  Here are the top 5 reasons summer reading club should be on your kids’ summertime agenda:

1) It Prevents Summer “Brain Drain”!
Kids experience learning losses when they don’t engage in educational activities during the summer – especially when it comes to reading.  But the good news is that parents and kids can do something to stop the “brain drain.”  The biggest way to continue learning is to keep reading over the summer. And the best way to encourage reading is to join Summer Reading Club!

2) It’s Free!
With gas prices on the rise, road trips and far-away vacations can be incredibly expensive – which is precisely why the “staycation” has seen an epic boost in popularity (in fact, the word “staycation” has become so popular that Merriam-Webster officially added it to the dictionary in 2009).  Whether you’re soaking up the sun on the shores of Grand Beach, camping in the Whiteshell, or taking a day trip out to Gimli, bringing along a library book or two is a great way for the kids to enjoy their summer on the cheap.

3) It’s Cool!
Although Winnipeggers hate to complain about the heat, it can often get too hot (and mosquito-ridden) to actually enjoy the great outdoors.  Weather gurus are predicting a hotter-than-normal summer for most of Canada this year, which means that kids across the country will be looking for indoor activities to beat the heat.  Getting out of the sun, and reading a good book is the perfect way to keep cool this summer – especially if you’re at an air conditioned library!

4) There are Prizes!
Remember when you were a kid and looked for that proverbial prize at the bottom of the cereal box?  I can remember scoring a wicked She-Ra tattoo in a box of my favourite cereal when I was 8 years old, and almost immediately, I became the coolest kid on the block.  Kids are crazy about prizes, and this year, members of the Library’s Summer Reading Club are eligible to win Goldeyes tickets, swim passes, books, and more!

5) It’s Fun!
During the school year, kids don’t often have a choice about what they read: whatever teacher says, goes.  Summer, on the other hand, is a time when kids can read whatever they want – whether that be a hilarious graphic novel like Dan Santat’s Sidekicks, a suspenseful page turner like John Grisham’s The Abduction, or a book of weird and wacky facts like Megan McDonald’s Stink-O-Pedia!  Members of the Library’s Summer Reading Club can read anything under the sun!

Registration for Winnipeg Public Library’s Summer Reading Club begins June 27th.  Mark it on your calendar, and drop by any Library branch to sign your kids up.