Reading Adventures – Times-Standard | Wender Mind Kids

Reading Adventures - Times-Standard

People of all ages are encouraged to take a literary road trip this summer.

Children, youth and adults are invited to participate in “Read Beyond the Beaten Path – the Summer 2022 Challenge with the Humboldt County Library” until August 13th.

In this challenge, each reader sets their own daily reading goal for the next few months—be it a few minutes to a few hours a day, or maybe 30 pages or 300 pages a week. It is the reader’s choice.

“Reading enriches life in so many ways — exploring new ideas or trying new recipes, adventures in places we may never visit in real life, creating shared worlds while reading aloud with others — and feeling it always great to encourage and support readers,” he told youth services librarian Jeanine Lancaster.

The Summer 2022 Challenge also includes writing, drawing or creating video book reviews and other fun activities.

Challenge results can be logged either on paper or via Beanstack, an app that turns reading, writing and more into a game.

“Participants using the paper log bring it to their library when they have completed 20 days of reading and other activity on the log,” Lancaster said.

She added, “Those who log their reading and activity on Beanstack just need to come to the library — staff can see the award results on the software’s library page.”

The Humboldt County Library is giving away a small prize to all readers who complete the 20-day challenge by August 13th. Challenge winners will then be entered into a final prize draw for family passes to Sequoia Park Zoo and the Redwood Sky Walk in Eureka. There are also raffles for each age group: 0 to 5 years, 6 to 11 years, 12 to 17 years and 18 years and over.

Pictured are some of the suggested titles for children wishing to enter the library’s Summer 2022 Challenge. (Heather Shelton/The Times Standard)

“The library has been inviting adults to participate in our summer challenges for a number of years and we like it,” Lancaster said. “Some adults participate in their lives as role models for children, some because they like to keep track of what they read (the Beanstack app is particularly fun) — and some because they recall summer reading programs from their childhood and a want to have some retro fun.”

Participants can pick up a printed challenge log at any Humboldt County Library location or go online to set up a free Beanstack account. Online options include the library’s Beanstack website,, or the Beanstack Tracker app, available on Google Play or the App Store, she said. A parent or guardian who sets up an account can add other family members, making it easy to track all readers together.

At the Eureka Main Library, 1313 Third St., people are invited to stop by the children’s room and check out the “Read Beyond the Beaten Path” themed decorations that adorn the space.

“I was super excited to learn about the Summer Reading Challenge theme because it’s all about exploring, enjoying our outside world, and taking a book with you on the journey – even if it’s just to a park or a Hof goes,” said Shoshanna, the library’s youth services contact coordinator.

“I knew there was a super cute campfire craft that was going to be one of the projects this summer,” she said, “and I started looking for camping-themed decorations in libraries and classrooms. I found some amazing twisted paper trees and this seemed like a great interactive project. So far, many children have made leaves to hang on the tree and it’s nice to see it come to life.”

maps and brochures
The children’s room at the Humboldt County Library in Eureka is adorned with decorations reflecting the Summer 2022 Challenge theme, Read Beyond the Beaten Path. (Heather Shelton/The Times Standard)

Shoshanna added: “We celebrated World Oceans Day in early June and built a sea wall which is very popular so we’re keeping that going – a pillar with maps, some scavenger hunts and several book exhibitions promoting outdoor play, crafts, cycling, Hiking, camping and inspiration for exploration.

“It’s delightful to see how children and parents smile when they see what’s new in the nursery,” she said. “Many have not visited for years and all have found what a fantastic time it is to visit the library, embark on summer adventures and read a wonderful book.”

More fun

All library branches offer the Summer 2022 Challenge. All summer long, each branch of the library is also giving away free take-and-make kits with supplies to create a nature journal, plant seeds, build a paper campfire, and make friendship bracelets. The first kits were available on June 14th. New kits will be ready approximately every two weeks while supplies last.

“The take-and-make kits encourage reading, writing and exploration,” Lancaster said, “and tie into our summer theme, Read Beyond the Beaten Path.”

All Humboldt County Library locations are open to the public.

“We are committed to expanding the library’s hours again – some branches have extended their hours in recent weeks and more are expected to do so this summer,” Lancaster said.

Visitors can find updates on library hours at

For more information on everything happening at the main library and all branches this summer, visit