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At the Library: Blast into the break with Summer Reading events

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It’s Summer Reading season at Yakima Valley Libraries! This year, in honor of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, kids and families are invited to discover a universe of stories at the library.

Now through Aug. 11, we’re challenging kids and teens to track their reading and earn rewards for reaching reading goals. Children from pre-K to fifth grade just need to read, or be read to, for at least 20 minutes a day and they’ll earn rewards for every seven days of reading they complete. After completing 21 days of reading, kids get to pick out a free book and receive a raffle ticket for a chance to win one of 24 goodie bags.

Older kids and teens (sixth-graders and older) are challenged to track their hours of reading, for a total of 20 hours. Once they reach that goal, they’ll earn a special Summer Reading button, a free book, and a raffle ticket for a chance to win one of more than 40 reading rewards, including an earbud kit, a bendable book light and one of seven different book packs.

Big thanks to the Yakima Valley Libraries Foundation for funding the huge variety of free books we’re giving away this summer.

In addition to the fun of summer reading, we’re also hosting a ton of free, family-friendly events and activities throughout the Yakima Valley.

On Friday, children’s author Curtis Manley will visit the Buena Community Library to talk about his new book, “The Summer Nick Taught His Cats to Read.” This event, sponsored by the Washington Center for the Book, is an awesome start to the summer and a great way for kids and families to learn about the behind-the-scenes work that goes into writing a book.

Later in June, we’ll be hosting two Portland-based performers.

First up, on June 14, Pegasus Puppet Theatre will visit the Selah Community Library at 11 a.m. and the Southeast Community Library at 3 p.m. to present an adventure-filled puppet show that brings Roman and Greek mythology to life, illuminating the stories behind constellations like Hydra, Leo and Pegasus.

At the tail end of June, we’re hosting one of Portland’s most popular children’s performers, Presto the Magician, at the Moxee, Sunnyside, Yakima Central and Buena community libraries. Bring the whole family and prepare to be amazed at an out-of-this-world magic show that everyone will love.

Finally, June will wrap up with the first in a series of programs called “Escape Room in a Box,” where kids ages 9 and older will get to enjoy all of the fun of an escape room … in a box! They’ll be challenged to work with teammates to crack clues and solve exciting puzzles as they race the clock to win the game.

Our first “Escape Room in a Box” session will be at the Zillah Community Library from 3-4:30 p.m. June 25. Additional sessions will be hosted at the White Swan, Mabton, Harrah, Southeast and Naches community libraries later in the summer.

You’re definitely going to want to hop onto the YVL website to take a look at the complete events calendar at www.yvl.org/events/summer, because July and August will be just as much fun. We’ll have performances by Yakima Valley magician Scott Wonder; space-themed workshops presented by the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry; cool, hands-on exhibits hosted by the Pacific Science Center; a sensory nature walk at the Yakima Area Arboretum; and several 3-D printing workshops.

We can’t wait for you to join us! For more information about the Summer Reading Program, stop by your local community library or visit www.yvl.org/kids/summer.

• Krystal Corbray is programming and marketing librarian for Yakima Valley Libraries. Learn more at www.yvl.org.

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