The Pratt's choice for summer reading

June 04, 2006

Summer reading isn't just for adults.

This month, the Enoch Pratt Free Library will announce its summer book, The Watsons Go to Birmingham -- 1963, which is part of its annual effort to encourage school-age children to read throughout the summer.

The 1995 book, by Christopher Paul Curtis, won the Newbery Honor Award and a Coretta Scott King Honor Award. It's about an African-American family of five who travel from their home in Flint, Mich., to Birmingham, Ala., in 1963, a pivotal year in civil-rights history.

Mixing fiction and fact, the book is aimed at young readers, particularly those in the middle school, but it's a good read for adults as well, says Mona Rock, a Pratt spokeswoman.

The book will be given to children at branch libraries and city recreation centers.

"We have facilitators at the libraries ... who will have discussion groups," Rock says. "What we do every year is ... have discussion questions, so in September the teachers can use [the book]."

A library committee selects the summer book each year, she says. Last year's summer read was the novel Holes by Louis Sachar.

"They try to pick something that relates to all ethnicities," Rock says. "The idea is to have the kids read a book a week."

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unisun@baltsun.com

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