Suffolk readers recognized

Published 7:53 pm Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Suffolk Public Library staff recently announced their winning participants in their summer reading challenge.

The library’s Camp SPL Summer Reading Challenge tasked citizens with reading and logging 14,000 books before the Camp SPL Grand Finale Carnival. They crushed that benchmark and ultimately logged more than 17,000 books this summer.

“We very much surpassed our goal,” said Elementary Services Senior Librarian Deborah Ward.

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Participants also earned one raffle ticket per book read and logged, with three age groups of prizes. One winner was chosen from each age group, and these prizes were made possible with support from Friends of the Suffolk Public Library.

Brandy was the winner for the 18-and-up age bracket, Jediah won for ages 8 to 18 and Baylee won for ages 7 and younger. They were able to choose from an extensive list of prizes, including a Virtual Reality Oculus Go Headset, Nauticus and Virginia Living Museum annual passes and other selections worth roughly $225 each.

Participants also filled out a survey that revealed some of Suffolk’s favorite reads this summer: former First Lady Michelle Obama’s memoir “Becoming,” “Where the Crawdads Sing” by Delia Owens and New York Times bestseller “Mousetronaut” for the younger readers.

“The community really does come together to reach our community goals that we’ve set,” Ward said. “We hope that we’re making it a good challenge, and we’re trying to get as many people involved as we can.”

That includes the Nichols family, who read and logged more than 2,500 books in this summer’s reading challenge. According to Tracey Nichols, some of their favorite reads this summer were “The Princess in Black” and “The Boxcar Children” series, as well as “Little House in the Big Woods.”

“It’s hard to pick favorites when we read so many fantastic books,” Nichols wrote in an email.

Reading aloud was a good summer activity for Nichols and her family. She wrote that it helps build connections with each other, as lines from stories will become part of everyday conversation and inside jokes.

Every book read builds that reader’s imagination, vocabulary and communication skills, Nichols wrote.

“When someone reads a book on their own, I love how they get excited to tell everyone else about the book they read,” according to Nichols. “Discussing the book helps them internalize it more and kind of helps them be a storyteller. There are so many benefits to reading together that you just can’t re-create elsewhere, and it’s just fun!”