(This article was originally printed in the September 3, 2104 issue of the Casper Journal.)
When did you first fall in love with reading? Was it at a library story time or classroom read aloud? Sitting in a parent’s lap listening to a favorite tale? Or maybe when someone gave you a book to call your very own — a book you could read for fun and enjoy at your own leisurely pace?
Many teens first fall in love with reading when someone gives them a great book that is fun to read and aligned with their interests.
That’s precisely what happens during One Community One Book events cosponsored by your Natrona County Public Library and the Natrona County School District’s secondary librarians.
Our goal is simple: Encouraging teenagers to read for the fun of it by creating a community of readers. This fall marks our fourth OCOB event and focuses on middle school students.
Free copies of the book “Legend” by Marie Lu will be given out starting the first day of school, September 2. Students can pick up their copy in the NCPL Teen Zone and at all local middle schools for as long as supplies last.
Readers will meet June, a girl prodigy training to be a military leader, and Day, a teenage mastermind who is the government’s most wanted criminal. When June’s brother is killed, she goes undercover to find his murderer. But the boy she finds is not what she was expecting. Will she turn him in or help him escape?
Students are encouraged to read the book and then pass it along to a friend. They will have several opportunities to participate in book discussions and other book-related events throughout the fall semester.
If you have a child or grandchild in middle school, we encourage you to make OCOB a family affair. Ask your student if they picked up a copy of the book. Read it with them, check out the audio book or ask them to tell you about the story. If they enjoy reading “Legend,” encourage them to check out the other two books in the series: “Prodigy” and “Champion.”
You may also want to take a peek at one of our previous OCOB selections: The Maze Runner by James Dashner; Michael Vey: The Prisoner of Cell 25 by Richard Paul Evans, and Divergent by Veronica Roth. Your library has multiple copies of each title available for checkout, as well as lists of similar books students can use to continue their reading journey
OCOB has been wildly successful in Natrona County since the first event kicked off in spring 2012. Between 1,200 and 2,000 copies of each of the featured books have found homes with students, staff and library users; some with new readers who previously would not have considered reading their hobby of choice.
To learn more about OCOB and other events designed to engage teens in reading, call 577-READ extension 101, stop by the Teen Zone at the main library in downtown Casper or go to www.natronacountylibrary.org/teens.