Book it to these reading-focused events this summer

Reading never goes out of style. In fact, summer is the perfect time to get kids reading just for fun and encouraging them to write their own stories. Studies show that when kids see the adults around them enjoying books, they’re more likely to become readers, too. 

So plan now for these events that will help ensure your family has a literary summer.

The Party That Shall Not Be Named

Wands ready! Muggles and wizards alike will have a magical time when the Naperville Public Library staff transforms the Nichols Library in downtown Naperville into Hogwarts. It’s no coincidence that this happens right around the shared birthday of Harry Potter and author J.K. Rowling. 

See into which house the Sorting Hat would place you, visit the fantastic beasts petting zoo and find your way out of a horcrux hunt escape room. There will also be Harry Potter crafts, storytime and trivia, as well as events in downtown Naperville.

Saturday, July 28; Naperville Public Library, 200 W. Jefferson Ave., Naperville

Printers Row Lit Festival

The Printers Row Lit Festival in Chicago is the largest free literary festival in the Midwest. For more than three decades it has celebrated the written word, supported literacy and offered family fun for all ages. 

The festival features Lil’ Lit Park, with a children’s stage and activity area. Kids and their grown-ups can enjoy performances by Justin Robert & the Not Ready for Naptime Players and Nili Yelin, the Storybook Mom. Cubs fans can see local authors Amanda ReCupido & Matt Lynch read from their children’s book, Anthony Rizzo is a Good Italian Boy. 

June 9-10; Printers Row neighborhood, Chicago

Celebration of Authors

Barrel of Monkeys honors young student-authors at its Celebration of Authors performance and brings to life stories written by kids in third through fifth grades. These fun tales will get kids giggling and may inspire them to write their own stories and plays. 

The event is free, but reservations should be made at barrelofmonkeys.org/coa or by calling (773) 506-7140. 

June 12; Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts, 915 E. 60th St., Chicago

American Writers Museum

Head to the American Writers Museum and check out the Children’s Literature Gallery. Don’t miss the mural that shows 42 squirrels reading 34 books representing significant milestones in American children’s literature. Little Squirrels Storytime takes place at 10:30 a.m. Saturdays.In addition, there are wonderful summer reading programs at local libraries. And don’t forget to check out local book stores, including Andersons Bookshop in Naperville and Downers Grove and the Book Stall in Winnetka, which often host children’s book authors.

180 Michigan Ave., Chicago

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