Bookmarks Summer Reading

How does a blanket spread out somewhere shady, a cold drink and you and the kids relaxing with a stack of books sound? Sounds like good quality time with the family, a chance to enjoy each other’s company and get lost in the pages of a book. A perfect summertime afternoon! Fresh air, family and fun reading time together.

Even better would be signing up your kids to participate in Bookmarks Second Annual Summer Reading program, sponsored by Bookmarks and the Blue Door Group of Coldwell-Banker Triad Realtors. Based on your child’s particular grade level, when he or she reads the number of books required and follows the guidelines as described in the program booklet (available online at, participants will be eligible to earn free books and cash prizes up to $250. Books listed can be checked out at public libraries or purchased through Bookmarks. All entries must be turned in by August 11th; prizewinners will be notified by August 31st. Additionally, entries will be on display at the 2016 Bookmarks Festival of Books and Authors.

Kindergarteners through senior high school students are encouraged to participate in the Summer Reading Program. The program is open to all North Carolina schools. For middle school age and up, they can flex their technology muscles by creating their responses with their own, original video.

This program is a companion to the Bookmarks Festival of Books and Authors, scheduled for September 8th-10th, 2016 at the Milton Rhodes Center for the Arts on Spruce Street in downtown Winston-Salem. Many of the authors featured at the festival are included in the Summer Reading Program. Ginger Hendricks, executive director, shared that, “The 2016 book list includes books and authors on the North Carolina standard reading lists, Battle of the Books lists or recommended reading for those age groups in addition to 2016 featured Festival authors.” Summer Reading participants will have an opportunity to meet some of their favorite authors, many included in the Summer Reading Program, at the festival.

The 2016 book list ranges from the classics to contemporary. To whet your appetite, this is a small sample of the books/authors by grade category (an asterisk denotes a 2016 Book Festival featured author):

K to 3rd Grade:

  • When Cats Dream by Dav Pilkey*
  • Amelia Bedelea by Herman Parish

4th/5th Grade:

  • Tiger Rising by Kate DeCamillo*
  • Smells Like Dog by Suzanne Selfors

Middle School:

  • Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum
  • Dark Pond by Joseph Bruchac*

High School:

  • I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
  • Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier
  • Throne of Glass series by Sarah Maas*
  • If I Stay by Gayle Forman*

In 2015, five counties and 18 schools were represented in the Summer Reading Program. Four students were recognized as winners during the Welcome Ceremony of the 2015 Bookmarks Festival. The 2016 goal is to triple the number of participants. Let’s give them a hand in reaching and surpassing that goal for 2016!

For more information about the Summer Reading Program and other Bookmarks’ events, contact Bookmarks at 336.747.1471, or visit the website ( The office is located at 251 North Spruce Street in the Milton Rhodes Center for the Arts.

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