Two days a week part of my job is to load up crates of books onto a golf cart and drive them out to the junior campers.
Did I mention my job rocks?
The junior campers are 8-11 years old, so they have much more structure to their day than the older campers. They have more time doing traditional “camp” activities and they are not allowed to go anywhere on campus alone. (Understandable since campers here are as old as high school grads.) The bummer, though is that they can’t just stop by the library, so instead we come to them!!
One of the most fun things I’ve done so far was to go through and pull books for the cart. I got to peruse the YA section and endlessly reminisce about books I loved at this age or that age. Books I’d completely forgotten until I saw them sitting on the shelf, often with the very same cover as the one I read many years ago.
A few favorites:
- “The Dark is Rising” series by Susan Cooper
- “Running out of Time” by Margaret Peterson Haddix
- “A Wrinkle in Time” and “A Ring of Endless Light” by Madeline L’Engle (plus everything else she’s ever published.
- “The Giver” by Lois Lowry
- “Ella Enchanted” (before the movie came out) by Gail Carson Levine
- “The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle” by Avi
- “The Upstairs Room” by Joanna Reiss
- “The Indian in the Cupboard” by Lynne Reid Banks
- “The Castle in the Attic” by Elizabeth Winthrop
- “The Neverending Story” by Michael Ende
And oh so many more!
It was interesting to me that the title the boys ask for most was “The Serpant’s Shadow” by Rick Riordan. I LOVE those books, and they are aimed at kids that very age, so it was not super surprising that they would be so popular. It was… gratifying? Was perhaps the word? It made me happy that Riordan’s goal to tell great stories that would be relatable to young kids (I mean, I am assuming that’s at least one of his goals) is clearly being accomplished.
The girls were more enthusiastic than the boys (sad but an observed fact in this particular case), but I heard many kids of both genders saying that they had brought books with them– which made this librarian pretty happy!! It’s true that at an Arts camp kids tend to be more inclined to read for fun, but it’s moments like today when I listened to two girl have an avid disagreement over whether Hermione or Annabeth was more awesome that my faith in humanity is restored (at least a little bit).
I also realize how much I enjoy working with kids. I wouldn’t say I miss it exactly. I don’t sit around and pine for the days of whining and messes. But I DO like talking with them about books for a half an hour twice a week!