Angela Shores, owner of Adventure Bound Books at 134 N. Sterling St. in Morganton, will join with downtown Morganton businesses to offer children a summer full of reading, writing, adventures and tasty treats.
The bookstore will offer a summer reading program from June 8 to Aug. 31. Readers interested in participating can pick up a Summer Reading Adventure Map at the store, Shores said.
“Once they’ve read and recorded five books, they can take their Reading Adventure Map to Toasted and Rolled for a mini ice-cream sweet treat,” Shores said. “Once they’ve read and recorded 10 books, they can bring their maps to the bookstore for a free book up to $8 value. Students can complete as many maps as they’d like throughout the summer.”
To kick off the summer-long event, ABB will hold a Read-A-Palooza Launch with a Silly Story Time at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, June 8. Activities will include face painting from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., in-store activities and giveaways for kids and a charity book drive.
“Since we were already partnering with a local high school student on her Girl Scout Gold Project to create a Learning Nook at The Meeting Place, our Read-A-Palooza book drive will give children’s books collected from customer donations to that project,” Shores said.
ABB will host a Storybook Camp for readers ages 5 to 9 from 9 -11 a.m., June 17-21. Each day , attendees will read two to three books together and make a craft related to the stories. The cost for the week is $80 per camper, or $20 per day, if child is unable to attend the whole week.
“We are back this summer with more storybook adventures and crafty projects,” Shores said. “Young readers will embark on an epic storybook journey each day of camp week. For example, we may read ‘Sylvester and the Magic Pebble’ and then paint rocks to take home or leave around town. Or we may read ‘Brave’ and create our own superhero capes or masks. It will be an adventure-filled week full of stories and creativity.”
On June 28, ABB will host a Scholastic Graphic Novel Con event and celebrate the 10th anniversary of “Dork Diaries.” The store will use backdrops and props for photos. They also will hand out items related to “Wings of Fire,” “Dork Diaries,” “Smile,” “Sisters” and other popular graphic novels, as well as other fun activities.
“Graphic novels can get a bad reputation as not being real books, but actually have great benefits to young readers and so we’re choosing to celebrate them,” Shores said.
ABB also will host two Creative Kids Writing Contests over the summer, one for ages 12 years and younger, the other for 13-17- year-olds. Participants must meet the age requirements as of July 31. Registration is open from May 8 to June 20. Registered writers will receive an email with a prompt on June 22. All writer submissions must be received by 11:59 p.m. EST on July 10. Judging will take place from July 11-31. Winners will receive an email and will be announced at ABB on Aug. 3. There is a $25 fee to participate. The first-place winner will receive $75 cash, plus a $20 gift certificate to ABB . The second-place winner will receive $50 cash, plus $15 gift certificate to ABB. The third-place winner will receive $25 cash and $10 gift certificate from ABB.
“Stories should be 1,000 words or less,” Shores said. “Writers will receive a prompt from which to write a short story in the genre of their choosing. Prompts may include a setting, character, or other story specific. A significant component of judging will include how well the writer incorporates the assigned prompt into his/her story. Judging will also consider how closely the submitted story aligns with the author’s identified genre, as well as character and story development within the word count.”
The fun continues in July with a Find Waldo Local Scavenger Hunt from July 1-31. Children will hunt for Waldo in 25 different downtown Morganton businesses. When Waldo is located, children will present passports to the cashier and receive a stamp or signature. A list of participating businesses, rules and prizes will be available on the website, social media and newsletter in June. Those interested in the scavenger hunt need to pick up their Find Waldo Local Passport at any of the listed stores.
ABB will host a Find Waldo Party on Aug. 3 to announce winners of the writing contest and scavenger hunt drawing.
Fun doesn’t end at the end of summer. Throughout the year, ABB also hosts storytime every Saturday morning at 11:30 a.m., where volunteers read different books to the children. They also host the Tuesday afternoon storytime at the Morganton Public Library once a month.
“Each (volunteer) brings a unique aspect to storytime,” Shores said.
Fun isn’t just for kids. ABB has books for all ages and hosts several monthly adult book clubs in a variety of genres. Adults with busy schedules may not have time to read, but have the time to listen. ABB partnered with Libro.FM to make digital audio books available to download so you don’t have to miss out on a book everyone is talking about. In the fall, Shores plans to have an adult writing contest and a poetry contest.
“The best way to stay plugged in with our contests and activities is to subscribe to our monthly newsletter, follow us on social media, stop by to ask about current happenings or check out our website,” Shores said.
Barbara Jolly-Deakle is a News Herald correspondent and a member of the Morganton Writers’ Group. She can be reached at BabbyWrites@CompasCable.net.