Reading is a blast this summer with the Kanawha County Public Library summer reading club. The teen club, "Cosmic Reading," is open to ages 12-19 and runs May 29-Aug. 31.
Its rules are simple: check out materials from your KCPL branch, and fill out an entry form for each completed title (book, audio book or e-book). When you finish seven, you earn your choice of an aluminum water bottle or a set of earbuds.
You can log your reads on a form listed under Cosmic Reading at www.kanawhalibrary.org or get a paper entry form at your library. Turn it in when you finish your seven books, and you'll be notified by phone or email to pick up your prize.
After seven, you can keep reading for a chance to win the grand prize. The top three readers from each branch will receive a messenger bag, and one lucky reader will win a Kindle Touch e-Reader.
Get into the spirit of the club's space theme with two days of free events in June, headlined by West Virginia's own Homer Hickam, the author of "Rocket Boys," on which the movie "October Sky" was based.
Hickam will be at the Civic Center Little Theater at 7 p.m. Friday, June 1 to discuss his new book, "Crater," the first in a trilogy about a teenage boy who lives in a moon colony in the 22nd century. Copies of the book will be for sale, which Hickam will autograph immediately following his presentation.
Also present will be "Journey to Tomorrow," an interactive traveling exhibit from NASA. It features activities like a lunar landing simulator, a planetary gravity demonstrator, a solar system scale where you can find out how much you would weigh on the moon and each of the planets and more.
On Saturday, June 2, the activities continue at The Clay Center from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and at Charleston Town Center Mall from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
At the Clay Center, bring your KCPL library card and gain free admission to "Space Out Saturday." If you don't have one, visit the KCPL registration area to sign up for one.
The day's activities include water rocket launches, make-and-take planet pendants, rocket design and solar system walks. Learn about space exploration with the Challenger Center for Space Science Education, and see if you have what it takes to be an astronaut in the Astronaut Training Lab.
At the mall, arrive early and register for one of the time slots to build and launch an air-compressed rocket with Jess White of NASA. The launches, as well as the KCPL Mobile Library and "Journey to Tomorrow" exhibit, will be set up on Clendenin Street between Quarrier and Lee streets. Inside the mall, you can also sign up for the summer reading club and participate in space-themed, games, activities and crafts.
For more information, visit www.kanawhalibrary.org or your local library. Become a fan of the Kanawha County Public Library Teen Services Facebook page for updates on Cosmic Reading and other teen programming.