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2018 Summer Reading Challenge

Summer Reading Challenge

Once again, this summer Red Balloon Bookshop is challenging you to Read Without Walls! Beginning Sunday, June 3 you can pick up a summer reading bingo card and complete reading and activity challenges to fill in the squares. These challenges invite you to explore books outside your usual areas of interest and to party at your favorite local bookstore! As you start collecting bingos, you'll earn your way to prizes from Red Balloon and other Grand Avenue businesses. Blackout all the squares on your bingo card and return it to Red Balloon by August 27 and you'll be invited to the Super Secret End of Summer Party!

Stop in to the store for our Grand Old Day Summer Reading Kick-Off or print out your bingo card here!

NEW THIS YEAR: Two squares on your summer reading bingo card require you to come party at the bookstore.  Check out our lists of events, bookclubs, and storytimes to plan your fun!



If you’re anything like us, you’re planning on spending your summer reading, and this year we’re hoping you’ll do some of that with us! To add on to our regular book clubs, we’re starting four book clubs just for the summer, with titles picked out in advance. With book clubs for all ages, we’ll have a great time getting to talk about some of the books we love most!


Read Aloud Book ClubRead Aloud Book Club

Storytime for the big kids. Join bookseller Angela for a (mostly) song-free version of storytime geared at kids ages 4 - 8. We’ll share one or two longer picture books or shorter chapter books every week and enjoy an optional *bonus activity* before we go. Meeting for four consecutive weeks in July. RSVP here.


Tues, July 10, 10:30am: Laugh it Up Storytime with The Book With No Pictures by B.J. Novak; Harriet Gets Carried Away by Jessie Sima; and My Pillow Keeps Moving! by Laura Gehl

Tues, July 17, 10:30am: Spoooooooky Storytime with Creepy Pair of Underwear by Aaron Reynolds; I Want to Be in a Scary Story by Sean Taylor; and Sam, the Most Scaredy-Cat Kid in the Whole World by Mo Willems

Tues, July 24, 10:30am: Mysterious Happenings....Storytime with Whobert Whover: Owl Detective by Jason Gallaher; The Detective Dog by Julia Donaldson; and Pigeon P.I. by Meg McLaren

Tues, July 31, 10:30am: Care of Magical Creatures Storytime with Super Slug of Doom by Matty Long; You Don't Want a Unicorn! by Ame Dyckman; and Nobody Likes a Goblin by Ben Hatke


Graphic Novel Book ClubGraphic Novel Book Club

Our Kids' Book Club is becoming the Graphic Novel Book Club! This summer, join us to discuss a few exciting graphic novels, perfect for kids 8+. Meeting on third Thursdays, June through August. RSVP here.



Thurs, June 21, 6:30pm: Kid Beowulf: The Blood Bound Oath by Alexis Fajardo

Thurs, July 19, 6:30pm: Brave by Svetlana Chmakova

Thurs, Aug 16, 6:30pm: Double Sequel Month! The Nameless City: The Stone Heart by Faith Erin Hicks and 5 Worlds: The Cobalt Prince by Mark Siegel, Alexis Siegel, et al.


"See You Tomorrow, Samurai" Book Club“See You Tomorrow, Samurai” Book Club

Did you love The War that Saved My Life? What about Wonder? If you’re a fan of realistic middle grade, join bookseller Sarah for a few of our favorite stories, two of which are by local authors! We’ll read about a girl in the Vietnam era, a kid who loves space, and a sailor desperate to return to his native Japan. This book club is perfect for readers 10+. Meeting monthly on second Mondays, June through August. RSVP here.


Monday, June 11, 6:30pmUntil Tomorrow, Mr. Marsworth by Sheila O’Connor

Monday, July 9, 6:30pmSee You in the Cosmos by Jack Cheng

Monday, Aug 13, 6:30pmHeart of a Samurai by Margi Preus



June is pride month, so this summer we’re going to read three stories about queer teens and written by queer authors. Come hang out with bookseller Lily to discuss a few fabulous books--their representation, their storytelling, the way they made you cry (we’re looking at you, Adam Silvera)! This book club is perfect for the 13+ crowd, and both LGBTQIA folks and allies are welcome! Meeting monthly June through August. RSVP here.


Monday, June 25, 6:30pm: All Out: The No-Longer-Secret Stories of Queer Teens Throughout the Ages ed. Saundra Mitchell

Monday, July 30, 6:30pm: History is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera

Monday, Aug 20, 6:30pm: Girl Mans Up by M-E Girard