The Washington Post

At Lexington Park library, children share the joys of reading

The book “Holes” is coming alive at the Lexington Park Library this summer, through a new interactive children’s book club.

Students recently made dough out of salt and flour so they could replicate fossil imprints using shells and other items, in connection with the Louis Sachar book.

Upcoming activities inspired by the book will include designing a canteen, preparing spiced peaches and making rain.

“Holes” was a hit with kids when it was published more than a decade ago, said Amanda Ellington, assistant branch manager. That’s why she chose it for this summer’s focus, saying she hopes to get a new crop of children — ages 8 to 12 — interested in the Newbery Award winner.

“It’s not your typical book club,” Ellington said.

Children come up with nicknames for themselves, as do the book’s characters, who are at a boys’ detention camp called Camp Green Lake in Texas.

Molly Morgan, 10, said she had read the book, calling it “pretty cool.” She was excited to participate in the club. “I go to the library and get a whole lot of books,” she said, every few days, especially in the summer. She has completed at least 20 books since the school year ended.

The club starts with a short recap of the previous week’s discussions. Then Ellington or Rachel Adler, the library’s summer intern, reads a few chapters to the kids.

“Kids of all ages love being read to,” Ellington said.

The librarians help guide the students in an informal discussion about the literary elements of the book, such as plot and characters.

Cousins Ellis Laury, 9, and Malissa Moore, 11, said the club is more fun than school. Although the two like reading, they said it’s more interesting to hear the librarian read to them with inflections and to participate in an activity related to the chapters.

“We really want to make it a fun, enjoyable experience,” Ellington said.

The children will also watch a movie based on the book.

The book club will culminate with Chapter 50 on Aug. 14. Children who have not joined can register for the book club in midsummer.

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