Sunday, September 2, 2007

Kids Read! Edmonton

The Edmonton Public Library is holding its first ever city-wide kids' book club this fall. It's a new program put on by the library in partnership with Child Friendly Edmonton with sponsors such as the Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation and the CBC. Every kid in grade 4-6 is encouraged to read the selected book and join in on the fun.

Joining is simple! All you have to do is read the book and you'll be part of the club. The book will be easy to find because every public elementary school and every Catholic elementary school in Edmonton will be receiving up to 10 free copies of the book. As well, big box and independent bookstores in edmonton are going to be well-stocked and, of course, the library has ordered many copies anticipating the popularity of this program.

They Mystery of the Graffiti Ghoul by local author Marty Chan was chosen for several reason. We knew we wanted a local author and immediately thought of Marty since not only are his books award winning, they are also popular with kids. They ring true with kids and are a pretty easy fast and funny read. It's a book that will appeal to boys and girls, and because some of themes are bullying and identity it is a book that easily promotes discussion.

We have tons of fun events and activities planned for this book club. We have special Mystery programs scheduled at every library in Edmonton on Sept. 22nd. There's going to be a Halloween party with Marty at Whitemud crossing, pre-addressed postcards to the author are available at all libraries and bookstores so kids can send a note to Marty. We have a fantastic interactive website that allows kids to post their own reviews, their own stories, take quizes, chat with the author, and much more. We're also holding two contests: kids can enter to win a Funky Pickle pizza party with Marty for their entire grade! Educators can enter their class to win a two hour writing workshop with Marty. There will also be author readings and appearances throughout the duration of the program.

The great part is that anyone can participate. You don't even have to have a library card. You just read the book, join in on the fun, and visit the website to enter contests.

So what's the book about? The Mystery of the Graffiti Ghoul is about a grade 4 boy living in a fictional town in Alberta. Marty is the only Chinese Canadian boy in town so he and his French-Canadian friend are often bullied for being different. Marty and his friend discover that someone has spray painted graffiti on the school shed and after Marty's friend is wrongly accused they are bound and determined to find out who do it despite scary encounters with teenagers, falling into empty graveyards, enduring even more bullying, and having to think quick on their feet. It's funny, realistic, and mysterious; a great book for anyone who has ever had to survive elementary school.

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