Yemi Falodun | Staff Writer
It’s time to crack open a book, turn a page and witness a refreshing dawn for the 2012 CLSC Young Readers program.
Young Readers, entering its 19th year, is under the new leadership of Teresa Adams, assistant director of the Department of Education and Youth Services and director of Special Studies. The program is designed for children ages 10-14.
“We want to give them the overall experience of the characters in the book,” she said.
Adams replaces Jack Voelker, who served as the program’s director since its inception in 1994.
“I have always enjoyed reading the Young Readers books far more than most of the adult books that someone might suggest to me,” said Voelker about the annual program that starts 4:15 p.m. Wednesday in the Alumni Hall Garden Room. “And I still do even if I’m not choosing them anymore.”
This year’s nine selections include two nonfiction tales, six fiction books and an inspirational book of poetry.
On Wednesday, author Meg Wolitzer will visit the Young Readers to discuss her book The Fingertips of Duncan Dorfman, which follows a young Scrabble player who has an unusual gift.
For Week Three, Reflections of a Peacemaker details the life of late 13-year-old poet Mattie J.T. Stepanek and his struggle with a rare form of muscular dystrophy.
In Week Eight, Pulitzer Prize-winning novel To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee, is this year’s “classic” book.
The books were chosen several months in advance from a pool of 171 suggestions.
“People stop me along the way, saying ‘Have you thought of this?’” said Sherra Babcock, director of the Department of Education. “In the fall, we like to sit down and ask, ‘What will make for a well-rounded season?’”
In addition to the nine books, Young Readers is implementing a 15-minute discussion before each weekly meeting, followed by a creative outlet that allows the readers the chance to experience their books in a real-world setting.
“In the A Long Walk for Water week, they will carry water like people in African villages,” said Adams.
The CLSC Young Readers Medallion Award, given by the Veranda staff, will reward young readers who read 16 books from the Young Readers historic book list of over 150 titles, including Jeffrey Simpson’s book, Chautauqua: An American Utopia.