Whether you want to make a splash, take a ride on the Enchanted School Bus or race to the finish, local libraries have a reading program for all ages this summer.
And reading could lead to some great prizes.
Most local libraries chose to adopt the state library's themes this summer -- "Make a Splash," "Make Waves" and "Water Your Mind" -- but others came up with their own.
Here's the lowdown on reading programs at each of the libraries in Elkhart County:
The children's reading program for kids up to age 11 at the Elkhart Public Library is called "Make a Splash at Your Library."
Tina Emerick, associate director in young people's programs, said kids will make a reading goal and keep track of their books throughout June and July. In August, when they bring their completed reading log back to the library, they'll get a new book and be eligible for prizes such as Indiana Beach passes or tickets to the Fort Wayne Tin Caps.
"We're trying to encourage them to read," Emerick said.
The teen reading program is called "Make Waves at Your Library."
Ages 11 to 17 get a card to mark down their reading goals. There are weekly prizes available as well.
The adult summer reading program, Emerick said, is called "Water Your Mind at the Library." Adults also can put their name in for drawings when they meet their reading goals.
Emerick said the library's summer programs mostly revolve around the water theme. There also is a Viking ship in the children's area for kids to play in.
In addition, the Elkhart library allows kids in grades kindergarten through age 17 to participate in the "Read Away the Fines" program, where they can read down their library fines.
For more information on any of the library's programs or a schedule of events, see its web page at www.myepl.org.
From now through July 30, children participating in the Goshen Public Library's summer reading program will be able to take a ride on the Enchanted Library Bus, a takeoff on the popular "Magic School Bus" series.
They'll keep a reading log at the library, either tracking how many pages or books they've read, depending on their age group, according to Margaret Kownover, head of children's services at the library.
While there are age-appropriate prizes for meeting certain reading milestones, anyone who meets their goal will be able to participate in an Aug. 2 "Magic Library Bus" grand finale party, featuring a special laser light show that will include "Star Wars" effects and music, Kownover said.
Anyone who reads more than their goal will get tickets toward a raffle of prizes that include tickets to the Field Museum or the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago, the Indianapolis Zoo, Science Central in Fort Wayne, Splash Universe in Shipshewana, a bike, soccer balls and book lights, she said.
There also are special programs throughout the summer. Check out the library's website for a schedule: www.goshenpl.lib.in.us.
Goshen's teen program is called "Food for Thought," according to Michael Miller, young adult services associate.
It's open to teens in grades six through 12 and runs through July 17. There are a variety of merchant prizes available to kids who read six books or 1,000 pages. In addition, Miller said, the teens are taking trips to area food merchants and participating in activities. Pre-registration is required for all programs.
Check out the program schedule online.
GPL also has non-resident summer cards for those who aren't served by a library available at $2.50 per student or $5 per family.
The library also has adopted the "Make a Splash" theme for its summer children's program for kids ages 2 to 11.
Pre-readers can earn a ticket after reading 10 books per week with their parents, while solo readers can obtain a ticket after reading for 150 minutes. They can earn bonus tickets for reading beyond their weekly goal as well.
Tickets can be used to play games for prizes at the library's Fun Fair, which will be from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Aug. 7. The last day to turn in reading logs is 5 p.m. Aug. 6.
The teen program in Middlebury is called "Make Waves," according to Mary Gilbert, youth services librarian. Teens track their reading time, and after 2.5 hours, get a slip for a drawing for a larger prize.
There's also a teen book club. This month's book is "Eclipse," by Stephenie Meyer, because the movie comes out June 30, Gilbert said. Books for July and August will follow the "water" theme.
Middlebury also has a teen improvisational theater group. Signups are still being taken for the program, which started last week. Teens pick a water-related scene from a book and work up a script or pantomime, Gilbert explained. Some could be presented at Fun Fest.
The library also has an adult summer reading club called "Water Your Mind." It works similar to the teen club.
Check out the library schedule at www.mdy.lib.in.us.
"Make a Splash" and "Water Your Mind" also are the children's and teens/adults programs at the Bristol Public Library.
Kids programs are at 12:30 Tuesdays and an in-house scavenger hunt is ongoing anytime. Catch a special program at 10:30 a.m. July 10, when Danny Eggleston and his border collie, Guinan, perform their world champion disc stunts for participants, according to Daryl Schrock, library director.
Readers will keep track of reading to collect tickets for games at the end-of-the-program Fun Fair, which will be Aug. 7.
Teens and adults are eligible for other prizes. Their goal is to read five books for the summer from a suggested reading list that includes water-related fiction and non-fiction titles, Schrock said.
Check out the library schedule at www2.youseemore.com/bristolwash/default.asp
Kids and teens are racing into reading at the Nappanee Public Library this summer through stories, crafts, games, songs and other activities, according to Cheryl Myers, children's services manager.
There are three programs for ages 2 to 11.
School-age kids, ages 6 to 11, meet Tuesdays, either in the morning or afternoon for two hours. They are learning about different types of racing to go along with the "Race into Reading" theme.
Preschoolers, ages four and five, meet Wednesday morning or afternoon for an hour.. They are called "Reading Racers."
Toddlers ages two and three are called "Turbo Chargers" and meet Thursday morning.
For all three, there's a home reading component as well, where kids are given a goal they try to reach for prizes.
Signup continues through the end of the program, which is July 22.
"Each child who registers and participates gets a free summer reader library card. It doesn't matter where they live," Myers said.
Pam Culp, adult services manager, said the teen and adult "Race into Reading" program allows participants to use a game board shaped like a race track that has spaces that have suggestions for what genre to read. They use dice to race around the track.
They get tickets for reading and double entries if they read the suggested genre.
There's a lot of interest in all the programs, Culp said.
The library's website is www.nappanee.lib.in.us.
Children and young adults participating in Wakarusa's summer program will fill out record sheets to "Make a Splash. Read."
For younger kids, there are four levels for goals and at each level, participants win a prize. Young adults earn auction bucks they can use to bid on special prizes at an auction on July 16, the last day of the summer reading program, according to Matt Bowers, children's director at the library.
The last day to register for the children's program is July 2.
There are preschool and grade-school programs once a week at the library. Pre-registration is required.
The adult reading program ends Aug. 14 and is open to high school age and older. The theme is "Water Your Mind. Read," Bowers said.
Participants are asked to read nine books and write a review of one of the books to turn in when they complete their record sheet. They can then choose a small gift item and put their name in for a drawing for other items such as a T-shirt or mug.
Check out the Wakarusa library on the web at www.wakarusa.lib.in.us.
Vampires, a wimpy kid and graphic novels are tops when it comes to popular books at local libraries.
Here's a quick list of titles that are flying off the shelves:
* "Diary of a Wimpy Kid"
* "Captain Underpants" series
* "Magic Treehouse" series
* "Junie B. Jones" series
* "Nancy Drew and the Clue Crew"
* "Barnaby Grimes" series
* Anything by Rick Riordan, including "Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief," "39 Clues" books and his new novel, "The Red Pyramid"
* Any of Stephenie Meyer's "Twilight" novels, but especially "Eclipse" because the movie debuts June 30
* Any of P.C. Cast's vampire novels. The "House of Night" series is a good one.
* "Harry Potter" series
* Rick Riordan books
* "Twilight" is popular with adults, too.
* Anything by popular authors such as James Patterson, John Grisham, Catherine Coulter, David Balducci, Iris Johansen and Karen Robards
* Laura Bush's new biography, "Spoken from the Heart"
* "Hellgate" by Linda Fairstein