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Summer reading challenge heats up at local libraries
June library events
Kids run through a superhero obstacle course at the Turlock Library's Summer Reading Challenge kick-off event on Saturday. - photo by KRISTINA HACKER/The Journal

Every hero has a story and the Stanislaus County Library is hoping readers of all ages will find their favorites during the Summer Reading Challenge.

Children from toddler to age 8 can get a reading log at any branch of the county library and use it to keep track of every day they spend at least 30 minutes reading or having someone read to them. After seven days of reading, kids can bring their reading log, signed by a parent, back to the library to collect a prize.

Youth ages 9 to 19 can also pick up a reading log to keep track of every hour they spend reading. After seven days, youth can return their log to the library to be entered into a prize drawing. There is no limit on how many times an individual may enter.

Adults are also being encouraged to spend their summer days reading. Individuals can fill out and return a review sheet for each book they read and be entered into a drawing for a $100 gift certificate.

The reading challenge will run through Aug. 4 at all branches of the county library. The last day to pick up a reading log is July 28.

Along with the summer reading challenge, there are a host of events planned at local libraries.


The Turlock Book Club will meet at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday. This month's selection is "Dogs of Babel" by Carolyn Parkhurst. A limited number of copies of the book are available at the library. For more information contact the Turlock Library Reference Desk at 664-8100.

The children's activities line-up for June will start with a superhero lollipop craft at 4 p.m. Tuesday. Children will have the opportunity to design their own superhero cape and mask to turn an ordinary lollipop into a superhero lollipop. Children ages 6 and up can come to the library at 4 p.m. Wednesday to make a variety of paper airplanes and other flying objects. Books will on making paper airplanes will also be available for checkout.

Children will hear a reading of "Bubble Trouble" by Margaret Mahy at 4 p.m. June 9 and then have the opportunity to play with bubbles outside in the patio area.

Kids ages 6 and up can come to the library at 4 p.m. June 10 to make catapults out of craft sticks, rubber bands and marshmallows. Books on catapults will also be available for checkout.

The Turlock Fire Department will make a special visit to the library at 4 p.m. June 16. Firefighters will talk about fire safety and kids can get up close with a fire truck. The Turlock Police Department will visit the library at 4 p.m. June 30. Officers will share a book and help kids make a craft.

Keeping with the summer superhero theme, kids ages 6 and up can make dream catchers to catch the villainous bad dreams and allow sound sleeping at 4 p.m. June 17.

Children will have the opportunity to build LEGO displays for the library at 4 p.m. June 23. LEGO play helps children develop fine motor skills. Children under 4 are welcome, but must have direct adult supervision.

Tweens and teens will be able to make buttons at 4 p.m. June 24. Bring pictures from home to make a button, magazine images or use one of the provided images. Books on button making will be available for checkout.

The Turlock Library is located at 550 Minaret Ave. For more information, call 664-8100.


The Denair Library is starting out June with three superhero themed events. Youth ages 9 to 18 can melt beads to create their own superhero figurine at 3 p.m. Tuesday. On Wednesday, children can learn how to make a superhero costume out of everyday objects. Upcycled superhero costume craft time will begin at 3 p.m. Youth ages 9 to 18 can swing by the library at 3 p.m. June 9 and  make their own superhero paper puppet. 

The Denair Library will hold a chocolate tasting event at noon June 13. Participants can taste a variety of chocolate and learn a little about the difference and quality of chocolate.

Children of all ages are invited to use stencils and paint to create a negative space star painting at 3 p.m. June 24. As with all paint projects, this may be messy so please dress accordingly.

Youth ages 9 to 18 can learn how to make repositionable stickers to decorate windows at 3 p.m. June 23 and make Shrinky Dink pendants and key chains at 3 p.m. June 30.

The Denair Library is located at 4801 Kersey Rd. For more information, call 634-1283.


Children ages 5-12 can participate in the Keyes Library Superhero Academy every Tuesday at 2:30 p.m. from July 7 - Aug. 4. During this program, children will listen to a story and then construct various parts of a superhero costume including a mask, cuffs, shield and a cape. On Aug. 4, participants will graduate from the Superhero Academy and there will be an end of Summer Reading party. Due to the nature of this program, advance registration is required. Call 664-8006 for more information or to register.

The Keyes Library will also host two free, fun and family-friendly performers in June. The first show, Xtreme Science Magic, will be held at 3 p.m. June 8. During Xtreme Science Magic, Don O’Brien will perform amazing science experiments and magic tricks that will astound the audience.  Uncle Jer’s Traveling Bee Show will create a buzz at 10:30 a.m. June 15. During this program children will be treated to an interactive performance that discusses the history of bees, pollination and honey production. Each child will also receive a parting gift from Uncle Jer.

Other June events for children include: a bird feeder craft using pipe cleaners and Cheerios at 1 p.m. Wednesday; canvas splatter art at 1 p.m. June 10; popsicle stick picture frame craft at 1 p.m. June 17; hero story time at 10 a.m. June 23; and a superhero stamp shirt craft at 1 p.m. June 24.

Tweens, teens and adults can make a unique room decoration by creating a superhero light switch plate using old comic books at 3 p.m. June 18. Individuals can also bring their own images.

The Keyes Library is located at 4420 Maud Ave. For more information, call 664-8006.