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Summer Reading for Youth and Adults

Participate in Fairfax County Public Library's summer reading activities!

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How it Works

The gameboard is divided into three prize milestones. Play the game by completing the challenges and when you reach each prize milestone, submit a form to be entered into a random drawing for one of two Amazon e-gift cards. (You may only submit one form for each prize milestone.)

Don’t want to complete some (or any) of the gameboard challenges? In lieu of completing a challenge, read or listen to a book of your choice.

School-Age Gameboard // Tableros para Ninos de Edad Escolares

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Activity 1: Attend an online library program OR read a book of your choice

For this challenge, you can attend an "in person" program or watch an on-demand program video on FCPL's YouTube channel.

New school-age programs are added every Monday and Thursday. From live programs on Zoom to videos that you can watch when it fits your schedule, there's something for everyone to enjoy online.

Activity 2: Watch a movie or TV show adapted from a book OR read a book of your choice

According to Merriam-Webster, an adaptation is "a composition rewritten into a new form" like when a book is turned into a screenplay that's turned into a movie or TV show!

According to us, an adaptation is another fun way to experience a story that you love! For this challenge, pick a movie, TV show, or recorded play of a book you like and watch it. After you're done watching the movie, talk with a family member or friend about similarities and differences between the book and the adaptation. Here are some things to talk about:

  • What parts of the plot (aka the story) did the movie add or leave out from the book?
  • Are the characters different than they were described in the book?
  • Does the setting look how you imagined it would look?
  • Which version do you like better and why?

Remember all of those great Disney movies you used to love with your favorite heroes, villains, princes and princesses? Many of those stories are film adaptations of fairy tales, folk tales, myths and legends, so we'll count them for this challenge.

Don't forget that we have DVDs available for checkout! Click here to browse our catalog.

Activity 3: Read a book with a main character from a different culture OR read a book of your choice

One of the best things about reading is that you get to "meet" all different kinds of people and learn about different cultures and ways of life without having to leave your house! Reading about people who are different than you and your family is important because everyone deserves respect and understanding no matter their race, religion, or what country they're from.

For this challenge, read a book with a main character from a culture that's different from your own. We've linked some own voices books for you to check out below. Own voices means that the books are written from an author who is part of the culture of the characters in the book. Reading books by these authors helps us make sure that the stories we're reading are authentic and don't use things like negative or hurtful stereotypes.

When you're finished reading your book, talk with a friend or family member about your experience and what you learned while reading. Here are some activities to help you have these conversations:

  • List some ways that you and the main character in your story are different. Are you of a different race, culture, or religion?
  • List some ways that you and the main character in your story are the same. Are you in the same grade at school? Do you like the same things? Do you live in the same country?
  • Brainstorm some words that come to mind when you think about how this character's experiences make you feel. Make a word cloud with those words and turn them into art.
  • If you know where the character lives, find the zip or postal code for the character and write a zip poem from the character's perspective.

Activity 4: Re-read your favorite book from preschool OR read a book of your choice

Our favorite books from childhood never leave us. Re-reading your favorite book with a fresh perspective can be a fun experience!

Before you read your book, take a few minutes to think about why you love this book in particular. What feelings does the book evoke? What memories do you have reading the book or having it read to you? If the person who read the book to you is available, share your thoughts with them and ask what they remember from their time reading the book. Are your memories similar? Different?

After you read the book, reflect on your thoughts and feelings from before you re-read it. Do you still feel the same as you did before? Do you still like the book? Why or why not?

Activity 5: Write a thank you note to your mail carrier OR read a book of your choice

All of those toy packages don't arrive by magic! Our mail carriers are working hard to bring us the things we need while all of us try to stay home as much as possible. Take a moment to write a heartfelt note to your mail carrier and leave it in your mailbox. They will appreciate the recognition!

Milestone 1

You did it! We think you're pretty awesome for completing 5 challenges. Submit a form by clicking here and you'll be entered into a drawing for one of two $50 Amazon gift cards. The drawing closes August 14th. Winners will be chosen by August 31st. 

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Activity 6: Recommend a book to a friend OR read a book of your choice

Is there a book that you've read recently that you just LOVED? Maybe it was really funny, had a mystery you couldn't wait to solve or had beautiful pictures. Take a moment to share that book with a friend. Let them know why you liked it and why they should take the time to read it.

Activity 7: Read a spooky book OR read a book of your choice

It's not All Hallows Read quite yet, but it's always a good time of year to read a spooky book. Don't like being scared? Try reading a suspenseful mystery novel instead! 

Keep reading for some spooky book reccommendations, from spooktacular picture books to spine chilling chapter books, there's something here for everyone.

Activity 8: Find 5 things the same color as the last book you read OR read a book of your choice

Look at the cover of the last book you read. Can you tell what color it is? Great! Now it's time to find five things that are the same color as the cover.

Try this activity using progressively larger spaces and see what items you can find.

  • Search your bedroom for objectects.
  • Expand your search to your whole house.
  • Look out your window and see if you can find things.
  • Take a walk around your neighborhood make a note of the objects you see.

Here are some questions to think about while you search:

  • How are the objects similar or different?
  • Are they larger or smaller?
  • Man-made or natural?
  • Do you see this color everywhere or do you need to be patient and look closely?

Activity 9: Read a story to your pet or stuffed animal OR read a book of your choice

Reading aloud can be intimidating! Find a furry friend who won't judge you if you stumble over words you don't know.

If you have a family pet, they are good choices for this. They will enjoy the attention and might help calm you if you're feeling nervous. Don't have a pet in the house? Don't worry--a stuffed animal can stand in for this.

Remember that your reading will get better with practice and that nobody knows how to pronounce every word (not even librarians!). Be patient with yourself and have fun!

Activity 10: Write and one page story and illustrate the back of the page OR read a book of your choice

Everyone has a story to tell! Use this challenge to tell a whole short story using just a single sheet of paper (or one page in a word processing software, if you're typing) from beginning to end. Use the back of the page to illustrate your short story.

Need a little help getting the creative juices flowing? Check out our writing prompts below to get you started:

  • Write a story about a group of friends who win a vacation to another country.
  • Write a story about a girl who wants to be a race car driver.
  • Write a story about what the world looks like 100 years in the future.
  • Write a story about a pet lizard who is secretly a dragon.
  • Write a story about a city where people only eat sweet food.
  • Write a story about a boy whose teacher becomes a movie star.
  • Write a story about a child whose parents are werewolves.
  • Write a story about a plant that comes to life.
  • Write a story about a dinosaur who travels to the future when dinosaurs are extinct.
  • Write a story about a big game that comes down to the last point.

Milestone 2

You've done it again! Congratulations! Submit another form to be entered into a drawing for one of two $100 Amazon gift cards. That's right, the prize money just keeps going up. Drawing closes August 14th. Winners will be chosen by August 31st. Play on!

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Activity 11: Re-write the ending of a book you didn't like OR read a book of your choice

It's okay not to like every book you read. Have some fun playing author and re-write the ending of a book you didn't like. Talk to a friend or family member about the changes you made.

Activity 12: Listen to an audiobook OR read a book of your choice

There are many ways to read the books you love. One of our favorites are audiobooks, which are books read aloud by a professional voice actor (sometimes a full cast of them!) that you listen to.

You can download audibooks for free from FCPL's OverDrive account as well as RB Digital. There's something here for everyone so prepare to pop in your headphones, kick back and relax.

Click this links above to browse the audiobooks we have in our collection.

Activity 13: Write a short book review for the FCPL blog OR read a book of your choice

Did you know that FCPL has a Reviews and Recommendations blog? Our librarians share books that they have enjoyed and want to recommend to you. This is your opportunity to recommend books to children all over Fairfax County! Here's how to complete this challenge:

  • Choose a book that you've read recently that you'd like to recommend to other people. 
  • Click this link and fill out the SurveyMonkey form with your review.
  • Submit as many reviews as you want before the Summer Reading Adventure ends on August 14th.

If your review is shared on our blog, we'll send you an email to let you know.

Activity 14: Make a recipe from a cookbook OR read a book of your choice

There's nothing better than a home cooked treat. Whipping something delicious up in the kitchen is not only health but entertaining! Browse our selection of cookbooks that you can check out, choose a recipe and get cooking!

Make sure that you have an adult helper with you before you start cooking in case you need help using sharp cooking tools or heat sources like the oven. It's always good to have someone else with you just to be safe. Bonus: you'll have someone to share your creation with!

Want some more cooking content? Check out our Cooking with Cristina videos for kid-friendly recipes.

Activity 15: Draw a map of a fictional country OR read a book of your choice

A map at the beginning of a book often means you're about to delve into a seriously good fantasy book. Have you ever wondered how these maps get created? The people who create them are called cartographers and their work is really more of a science than an art. Cartographers working today use computer software to help them take geographic information and put them in a visual format that people can use. A pretty cool job, right?

For this challenge, we encourage you to pretend to be a cartographer and create your own map of a fictional country. You can use a country from a book you've read or a movie you've seen or you can make up your own! Watch this video for a quick tutorial. Be creative!

Milestone 3

You completed all 15 challenges, which basically makes you a superstar. There's only one thing left to do: submit your last form for a chance to win one of two $150 Amazon gift cards. You've earned it. Drawing closes August 14th. Winners will be chosen by August 31st.

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