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Summer Reading Programs filled with the unexpected

There’s a whole World of Curiosities to be explored at the Prince George Public Library this summer. There is a reading program suited for any age but it’s not what one might expect.
Prince George Library Adult Summer Reading Program booklet offers a World of Curiosities to those who would like a little adventure in their lives. There's a reading program for all ages.

There’s a whole World of Curiosities to be explored at the Prince George Public Library this summer.

It's a reading program suited for any age but it’s not what one might expect.

The adult reading program challenges people to read a book with a troll, a unicorn or an alien in its pages, go into the teen section and grab a graphic novel or even make a meal inspired by something you’ve read. They even want you to read something from the year or decade of your birth – ancient history for some.

Under "Community" the challenge is to attend a local event, visit a park, a thrift shop, a local business, or volunteer your time to a favourite cause. For activities you can write a poem, learn three words in a different language, cloud watch or go for a hike. See? Not your average library activities.

In "Mysteries" you’re asked to read a paperback, a graphic novel, play a mystery game or read a mystery featuring a ghost.

For "Art & Music" read a biography of an artist or musician, read a play or a book of poetry, watch a documentary about an artist or musician or read a manga. You can even listen to an album of music in a genre you wouldn’t usually go for.

“Creating the program was definitely a collaborative effort,” Victoria Ellis, program coordinator at the Prince George Public Library, said. “Elizabeth Hannah, library assistant, worked really hard on the adult summer challenge and I think she did a great job. We always try to be creative with the programs and try to come up with new things for people to enjoy and yes, we’re a library and obviously we have books but we also have so much more to offer.”

Different challenges are encouraged including outdoor adventures like rockhounding or something creative like writing a poem. It’s all about a trying something new.

“And maybe something out of their wheelhouse,” Ellis said. “We’re asking people to move away from their usual genres and try something new because it’s really easy to stay in your lane sometimes and it’s good to shake things up a little.”

Tens to Teens have more of the same but there are more visits to the library for fun events on the schedule and weekly challenges are included in each theme. There’s Depths of the Earth that asks people to go to the river and build a tower of rocks and skip a rock on the river, read a time travelling book, make an art piece of only natural materials and send a photo of it.

Precious Mysteries is another weekly challenge and asks youth to share what kind of magical power they’d like to have and why, learn how to greet someone in another language, read a mystery book, discover a mystery and try to solve it.

Natural Curiosities asks youth to plant a seed, host a themed family picnic or try a new outdoor hobby, write a poem based on a favourite spot to hang out in Prince Geroge, while Works of Art challenges youth to visit an art gallery, try a new kind of craft, write a piece of fan fiction based on a favourite book, create a sculpture or find a new recipe to try, draw a self portrait or go screen-free for 24 hours. Other weekly themes include Beyond Our World and Collections and Memories.

For children ages five to nine there is the Summer Reading Program where there are weekly activities to attend at the library, like an all-ages magic show, checking out the Discovery Series, doing the Story Walk at Masich Place Stadium. Lego Time and Paws 4 Stories where children a bit reluctant to read aloud can read to a four-legged friend instead, attend a Bear Aware chat or play Games in the Garden, take part in Pajama Story Time or attend the Touch a Truck and children are encouraged to read throughout the summer.

“The over-arching theme is a World of Curiosities and each week there is a something different and we have activities to get people up and moving and in the library to enjoy a variety of activities,” Ellis said.

For all your efforts you are rewarded with a chance to win gift certificates to local businesses. Each challenge met gets a ballot into the draw for prizes.

During last year's program there were 488 people who participated in the Adult Summer Challenge, for the Tens to Teens program there were 618 ballots entered for prize draws and in the children's summer reading club there were 750 reading records distributed.

For more information visit www.summer-reading-program-brochures.

And to see the tasks for adults visit, for tens to teens visit and for children visit

On top of all that the library has activity kits that are available for the public to check out with their library card.

The list includes the beginner ukelele kit, bicycle tool set kit, a birdwatching backpack, the Celestron travel telescope 70, Chromebooks, hiking backpack, and a Singer sewing kit.

“We have a lot of cool stuff here,” Ellis said.

For more information visit