Friday, June 2, 2017

Build a better world this summer, one story at a time

When I wrote about the Mayor’s Summer Reading Challenge of the Dallas Public Library system earlier this week, readers in surrounding cities may have felt left out. So, here’s some good news about summer literary activities for young people, no matter where they live.

artist: Matthias Zimmermann
Since I have family members in Richardson, I’ve long been familiar with the wonderful programs offered by the Richardson Public Library, from toddler story times to advanced activities for teens and adults.

A couple of offerings in Richardson this summer have grandkids Gabe and Alex particularly buzzing, including the Writer’s World Building Workshop, June 24, 2-4 p.m., taught by Polly Holyoke, author of the Bluebonnet-nominated The Neptune Project and The Neptune Challenge. Holyoke will offer practical tips to help build vivid new worlds in their own fantasy and science fiction writing.

Adult writers (like me) have paid to take classes on world building, but this one is free for writers ages 10-18 years. Registration required, at the Youth Services Help Desk at the library, 400 Civic Center Drive in Richardson, or by calling 972-744-4358. I called to be sure and – there’s no residency or library card requirement for this!

Also on the boys’ to-do list is the Young Authors class taught by children’s author Nancy Churnin (The William Hoy Story: How a Deaf Baseball Player Changed the Game) on Friday mornings from June 16 – August 4 (no class July 7). The boys have been writing and illustrating their own miniature comic books for years.

It helps that their dad is an illustrator and graphic designer. Still, Churnin’s help with writing strategies, illustration techniques, page layout and more, is a huge boost. Participants have a chance to write and illustrate a picture book to add to the library’s collection. How’s that for becoming a published author is just seven weeks? (Maybe dad will take the hint and get started on that picture book he keeps talking about. . . )

The classes are available to Richardson residents entering grades 5-9 this fall. Free, but this one requires registration and a valid Richardson library card (if you need more incentive to get kids their own library cards). Call 972-744-4358 or stop by the Youth Services Help Desk at the library to register.

Other free, no residency required summer offerings from the Richardson Library include 3D printing & Tinkercad (ages 13 and up), introduction to LinkedIn (teens and adults), and a 3D printing contest with separate categories for ages 7 through adult. And more. See the library site for details.


Texas-based Half  Price Books  also joins the summer readathons with its Feed Your Brain summer reading program for kids in preschool through high school. Reading 15 minutes a day (during June and July earns Bookworm Bucks (good for in-store credit) for ages 14 and under. (Adults may read aloud to kids still learning to read.)

For teens, there’s a Feed Your Brain Summer Reading #BOOKBINGE. Read HPB’s recommended Penguin Teen titles and write a short review to earn your own Bookwork Bucks. See the site for details.


The Richardson Library programs mentioned here and the Dallas Library’s reading challenge are just the iceberg tip of what’s available at local libraries this summer. Find, read, share and enjoy! 

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