Your mission, should you take it…

The Toronto Public Library (@torontolibrary) recently launched it’s annual Summer Reading Club. We’ve been participating for a few years now, even before my oldest could read. Our local library is great at involving all kids, readers and non-readers alike. And it’s one local program not affected by the city strike.

Secret Agent 009

This year’s theme is Agent 009, focusing on books about detectives and mystery, codes and secret agents. Kids don’t have to read books within this theme, heck, they don’t even have to read library books, they can be books from their own home library. The whole idea behind the Summer Reading Club is to encourage reading and the love of it among kids during the summer months.

When the kids register to participate in the program (it’s FREE), they are given a poster to hang up at home and a spy kit (a booklet containing recommended reads as well as a variety of secret code games, puzzles, word searches and more). Each book a child reads earns them a sticker for their Summer Reading Club poster. All they need to do is report on the completed book at their local library. I’m not talking a book report. It’s more a casual conversation with the librarian asking the kids some questions about the book: What was their favourite part? What happened to {the main character}? Would you have made the same decision as {the main character}?  With my kids, the hardest part is getting them to stop telling the librarian about their books (accept for my shy two year old, she takes after mommy). There are a total of nine stickers, so the kids can report up to nine books to complete the program.

Time to talk about books with the librarian

Time to talk about books with the librarian

For Readers and Non-Readers alike

This isn’t just for readers. My five year old son doesn’t read yet, but books I read to him count. He just needs to demonstrate he understood the story by answering the librarian’s question. And even my two year old is participating this year. The librarian just asks her questions like: Did your mom read you a story last night? Was there a bunny in your story? And other questions easy enough for her to answer and claim her own sticker.

Mom, Where’s My Library Card?

Of course it helps if mom brings the kid’s library cards. Having kids who aren’t able to take books out of the library because of your mistake, doesn’t make you that popular, at least in my family. So they settled to reading a few books in the library.

Hanging out in the library

Hanging out in the library

Author Visits and More

Along with reading books, the libraries also host other weekly events based on the years Summer Reading Club theme (events can vary by library). There are author visits (we’re excited to see Veronika Charles as she reads from her Easy-To-Read Spooky Tales by Tundra Books / @tundrabooks). Our local library plans on hosting mystery hunts and other fun activities for kids.

Website For Added Fun

Kids can also visit the Summer Reading Club website for added fun. Here they can include their own book reviews, solve weekly mysteries, create their own online mystery story and more.

The Summer Reading Club runs from July 6 until August 18 and at the end of the program there’s a party with awards, prizes, treats, entertainment and loads of fun. We’ve never made it to the party or actually finished enough books to earn all the stickers. Hopefully this year we will make it all the way to the end. But the best part is my children’s enthusiasm around reading that hopefully I’ll be able to maintain when the school season starts up again.

Have a great Summer full of wonderful books with your kids. And if you’re looking for some books to read with your kids this summer (not related to the secret agent theme), be sure to checkout my Write a Review Wednesday reads.

A sunny spot to enjoy those reading club books

A sunny spot to enjoy those reading club books


5 responses to this post.

  1. LOVE the TPL summer reading Club. We do it in French – and the TPL has all the same resources available to English and French readers. (Ok – so the librarian doesn’t speak French – we do the book reports in English.)


  2. Oh! I love the hammock!

    That reading club sounds phenomenal. When I was a kid our school sponsored an extracurricular reading type thing and for every 10 books, you got a free personal sized pizza at Pizza Hut.

    I must’ve eaten like a billion pizzas, at least. I loved to read.

    I hope my little girl does too 🙂


  3. […] when the libraries Summer Reading Club program comes to an end. All three of my kids have been participating in this year’s Secret Agent 009 reading program. We’ve participated in the past, but this is the first year we’ve actually completed […]


  4. […] it and there was no going back. It was another summer of participating in the library’s Summer Reading Club, but this year we actually finished the program. My son started Beavers and my oldest daughter […]


  5. […] them, enjoy participating in the Toronto Public Library‘s Summer Reading Club program. They participated last year and had a great time (including an end of season […]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: