Read Across Lawrence for Kids Recap

The crickets were a chirpin’ over here at Sturdy for Common Things over the past month. Not much posting going on, but it was a necessary sacrifice– I promise! I’m back and would like to share with you one of the main reasons blogging took a backseat…

For the month of September, I spearheaded the launch of a community-wide reading program for young readers called Read Across Lawrence for Kids (I mentioned it here back in August) at the Lawrence Public Library. Area readers 8 & up “got on the same page” by reading the same book at the same time, and also by participating in exciting events themed around the book. The featured title was the critically acclaimed middle grade bohemian fantasy, The Cabinet of Wonders by Marie Rutkoski. While I wrote a more thoughtful and heartfelt recap for the ALSC (Association for Library Service to Children) Blog (a huge honor!) highlighting this program to be posted later this month, I thought a fun alternative to outlining this massive program would to put together a photo montage. Because who doesn’t love a good montage! And even better…  I embedded a special song for you to play while you look through the images. And no I haven’t tired of listening to it… yet. And I have a feeling you haven’t either. Enjoy!

You would want to participate after seeing this poster too, right?! A poster from an assortment of fabulous marketing materials created for Read Across Lawrence for Kids (RAL Kids)!

Due to the fantastic support of the Friends of the Lawrence Public Library, we gave out over 600 free copies of The Cabinet of Wonders to young readers and local educators within the first few days!

A majority of the books were given out at the Read Across Lawrence Kids Pizza Party Kick-Off, the first opportunity for kids to pick up a free copy of the book. I briefly gave a rundown of the month’s worth of RAL Kids programs offered, we watched The Cabinet of Wonders official book trailer, and then enjoyed delicious pizza donated from Wheat State Pizza.

A few days after the kick-off was the adult kick-off and Lawrence Book Night. The adult Read Across Lawrence title, Winter’s Bone, and The Cabinet of Wonders were given out around town to lucky individuals staff members happened to stubble upon.

A local artist drew this awesome chalk drawing to promote the month of events.

The cover art of The Cabinet of Wonders looks very similar to cut-paper art, so we hosted local cut-paper artist, Angie Pickman, for the RAL Kids cut-paper workshop.

The kids created cut-paper using elements found in The Cabinet of Wonders. This was such a fun and unique program. If I hadn’t worked it I would have attended. It was awesome. Read the artist’s recap here.

At the RAL Kids Kick-Off,  after I showed the official book trailer, I challenged the kids to create an even better trailer using the popular stop-motion technique of claymation at the RAL Kids Book Trailer Workshop.

The attendees of this workshop were responsible for creating the characters, the sets, and shooting the scenes. It was a blast! And they did a great job! The trailer premiered at the RAL Kids Virtual Author Talk Finale.

Pretty awesome, right? Make sure you watch the *entire* clip.

One of the ongoing activities was a Downtown Geocaching Scavenger Hunt where families could rent a simple, pre-programmed GPS device and use clues from the book to find secret container all in a walkable distance from the library.

Here is an example of one of the hidden boxes. Contents include a clue to the location of the next hidden item, a finder’s log, pen, an item or items relevant to the book, disposable camera to take your picture, and a note about the program.

Another one of the the ongoing events included was our library’s Cabinet of Wonders Instillation. Kids of all-ages could bring in their own artifacts to be put on display in a community cabinet of wonders collection throughout the entire RAL Kids month.

In honor of RAL Kids, The Cabinet of Wonders was the September selection for the monthly book club for tweens at the library.

One of my favorite programs offered was a Tour of Lawrence’s Own Cabinet of Wonders at Watkins Community Museum of History, an exclusive tour for kids wanting to explore the very top floor of the museum, which looks very much like a cabinet of wonders.

Adults attended this event as well to learn about the secret artifacts and a few of the secrets the city keeps in the museum’s attic. The education coordinator of Watkins, Abby Pierron, did an awesome job with this event!

For the older tweenage crowd, we hosted a raffle for advanced reader’s copies of The Cabinet of Wonders author Marie Rutkoski’s new book The Shadow Society. Along with the books, we also raffled off awesome swag as well! A handful of the RAL Kids readers were older, so this was a neat side element of the program.

The very last event of the month was the RAL Kids Virtual Author Talk Finale, where we hosted author Marie Rutkoski in a virtual skype chat with the kids at our library. She talked about her inspiration behind the books, what it’s like being a writer, and what she’s currently working on. And did I mention she’s living in Paris for the year? We skyped with her from grand ol’ Paris! Gotta love technology today!

Afterwards we premiered The Cabinet of Wonders book trailer, raffled away a few copies of The Celestial Globe, the sequel to The Cabinet of Wonders, and also enjoyed juice and donuts donated by Checkers Foods. The picture above is of attendees signing a RAL Kids poster as a thank you to Marie for visiting with us.

The adventures in reading didn’t stop with September! My colleague, Molly Wetta, who works in the Teen Zone made this awesome infograph of read alikes for The Cabinet of Wonders.

If you’d like to read more about this program, please check out the ALSC Blog after October 30th!

And if you’d like to listen to “Call Me Maybe” again… just scroll up and hit play.

You know you want to.


6 Responses to “Read Across Lawrence for Kids Recap”

  1. Sue says:

    Looks like it was a huge success. I enjoyed seeing Will involved with filming the claymation with the kids.


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