Summer Reading for Children, Teens, Adults

The theme of this year’s Summer Reading Program at Greenwich, Byram Shubert and Cos Cob Libraries is “Imagine Your Story,” and it’s filled with reading challenges, virtual events and boredom-busting activities for kids of all ages.

With a focus on fairy tales and stories of epic adventures, the program will look a little different this year since keeping everyone reading, as well as safe, is this summer’s goal! Registration, reading challenges, and events will take place online since the Greenwich, Byram Shubert and Cos Cob Library buildings are all closed for the time being.

All children who are reading independently are welcome to join the Summer Reading Program. Students in grades K-6 can enroll online on the Library’s Summer Reading website beginning on June 15. Once logged on, you’ll be prompted to register for the Library location of your choice. Log your reading minutes online and complete activities to earn great prizes, like coupons to local shops, a journal set, a new book and raffle tickets for a chance to win a grand prize when the program ends on August 15. Prizes vary by Library and readers can sign up to take part in the program at more than one Library.

The Library’s Summer Reading website will also feature a fun activities section that will have weekly crafts, reading Bingo, coloring pages, STEAM learning activities and videos. Preschool children can join in the fun to earn small prizes in the Read-to-Me program, tracking their reading by using the Library’s coloring sheets and reading logs to earn a small prize for every 10 books they read.

The summer reading program helps children build their reading skills over the summer. It’s an annual, nationwide program started by librarians all the way back in the 1890s to help prevent the loss of valuable reading skills over the long vacation.

Greenwich Library continues to support students at public and private schools through its extensive collection of books found school summer reading lists. The website will feature links to Greenwich Public and Independent Schools summer book lists, organized by grade level. Many books are available as downloadable eBooks and audiobooks. Visit for the library’s digital collection.

For the first year, adults can also take part in the Summer Reading Program! Visit the Adult Summer Reading webpage for more information.

Here are the virtual events taking place as part of “Imagine Your Story” Children’s Summer Reading Program.

VIRTUAL – Robert Rogers Puppet Company Presents Hansel and Gretel (Byram Shubert)
Monday, June 22, 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

The timeless fairy tale of lost children, candy treats, and an evil witch comes to life with beautiful puppets in this delightful production of Engelbert Humperdinck’s opera, performed by handmade puppets. This haunting adaptation is suitable for all ages. Register for this program online and you’ll receive an invitation the day before the event to join this live program via Zoom.

VIRTUAL – Waterbury Symphony Orchestra Presents Jack and the Beanstalk
Saturday, June 27, 11 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Hear a live retelling of Jack and the Beanstalk by a Waterbury Symphony Orchestra Musician! This event is part of Waterbury Symphony Orchestra’s “Creating Musical Readers” program, a literacy program that pairs a children’s book with a musician from the orchestra. Children not only listen to a story accompanied by musical excerpts but learn about a musical instrument and what it is like to be a musician. In Jack and the Beanstalk, the musician playing the double bass tells the story of Jack, a poor country boy who trades the family cow for a handful of magic beans, which grow into an enormous beanstalk reaching up to the clouds. Jack climbs the beanstalk and finds himself in the castle of an unfriendly giant. Register for this program online and you’ll receive an invitation the day before the event to join this live program via Zoom.

Library Contacts: Main Library: Children’s Librarian Deirdre Sullivan,; Cos Cob Library Branch Manager Laura Matthews,; Byram Shubert Library: Branch Manager Miguel Garcia-Colon,



Journey across medieval lands and encounter other-worldly creatures with Greenwich Library’s summer reading program for Young Adults, kicking off this month! This year’s theme is “Imagine Your Story,” and registration opens on June 5 on the Library’s online Summer Reading Website.

The Summer Reading program will look a little different this year since keeping everyone reading, as well as safe, is this summer’s goal. Registration, reading challenges, and events will take place online while the Greenwich, Byram Shubert and Cos Cob Library buildings are all closed for the time being.

Once registered, use your Greenwich Library card to try new book genres, streaming services, and so much more. Pick up a fantasy or fairy tale novel and join us. Read up to 1600 pages & complete at least two of the challenges to enter the drawing for an online raffle ticket to win one of our Grand Prizes.

Challenges include:

Write a book review we can post on the Teen Central Blog or BiblioCommons

Create a book trailer or video book review (no personal images shared) that we can also post on the blog and/or our YouTube account

Download a graphic novel/comic from Hoopla, then participate in our Graphic Novels Book Group Discussion

Download an album from Hoopla and write a short review for the blog or Bibliocommons

Download a movie from Hoopla and/or Kanopy and write a review for the blog or BiblioCommons

Take part in one of our virtual discussion groups on books, graphic novels and films

Participate in our Photography Showcase (details to be announced)

Read and Log 1600 Pages

Teen Summer Reading 2020 begins June 5 and runs until August 14, when we’ll announce online the winners of our Grand Prizes! Do two or more of these Challenges and read up to 1,600 pages this summer (log in limit 200 pages per day), and you’ll be eligible for one of our three Grand Prizes.

• Kindle Fire

• $50 Amazon Gift Card

• $25 Diane’s Books Gift Card


VIRTUAL YA Graphic Novel Discussion Group (Grades 6 – 8)
Friday, June 19, 4 – 5 p.m.

Students in grades 6-8 can attend virtual meetings of this group on Zoom every other Friday at 4 p.m. to discuss graphic novels and manga books they’ve read and want to share with the other members. We will discuss possible titles to read as a group. Register via the Library’s online calendar to receive attendee join link and password.

VIRTUAL – YA Film Group (Grades 6 – 8)
Monday, June 22, and Monday, June 29, 4 – 5 p.m.

Film buffs and movie aficionados, join us for Greenwich Library’s Virtual YA Film Group, which meets online every Monday at 4 p.m. Each week, we’ll talk about the latest films we’ve watched using the Library’s streaming services, Hoopla & Kanopy.  We will also recommend future films to watch and review.

VIRTUAL – Creating Visual Stories & Games (Entering Grades 6 – 10)
Meets four times this month! Saturday, June 20 & 27, 12 – 1 p.m.
As part of our Teen Summer Reading program, called “Imagine Your Story,” this class is an ongoing series that will meet four times this month (June
6, 13, 20 & 27). Presented by Happy Code Club, participants will explore topics in game design in order to understand the cause and effect of precise commands on computer actions. Work with visual coding languages in your projects and get introduced to coding blocks and built-in functions that control movement, sounds, language, and visuals. After grasping the concept of the coding blocks, move into projects involving animation via visual coding languages and begin to craft your first games and stories. Register via the Library’s online calendar to receive attendee link.

VIRTUAL – YA Book Discussion Group (Grades 6 – 8)
Friday, June 26, 4 – 5 p.m.
Students in grades 6-8 can take part in this online book group on every other Friday at 4:00 p.m. on Zoom. This month, we’ll be reading the first book in the Eragon: Inheritance Cycle series by Christopher Paolini. Be sure to download an eBook copy. Fifteen-year-old Eragon believes that he is merely a poor farm boy—until his destiny as a Dragon Rider is revealed. Gifted with only an ancient sword, a loyal dragon, and sage advice from an old storyteller, Eragon is soon swept into a dangerous tapestry of magic, glory, and power. Now his choices could save—or destroy—the Empire. Register via the Library’s online calendar to receive attendee join link and password.


Library’s First-Ever Adult Summer Reading Program 

Why should kids have all the fun? For the first time, Greenwich Library is launching a Summer Reading Program specifically for adults, which will take place alongside the ever-popular Summer Reading program for Teens and Children. The theme of this year’s Summer Reading Program at Greenwich, Byram Shubert and Cos Cob Libraries is “Imagine Your Story.”

The program is designed to encourage adult readers (18+) to read outside their comfort zones this summer. Participants are encouraged to complete five different library challenges by August 15 in order to win a prize. Examples of challenges are read or listen to a folktale or mythology, read or listen to a memoir, read a graphic novel from Hoopla Comics, checkout a magazine or newspaper using RBdigital, and checkout a book from the Overdrive Express Collection. The full list of challenges and a challenges checklist can be found on the Library’s Adult Summer Reading webpage.

The Adult Summer Reading webpage also features book recommendations from Greenwich Librarians and the opportunity to browse specific genres, including Modern Fairy Tales and Books by Connecticut Authors, to find worthwhile books that you might not normally come across or check out.

The Library has an exciting line up of virtual events planned for this summer, inspired by the “Imagine Your Story” theme.  Register for the following events on the Library’s online calendar. A Zoom link and password will be sent out via email prior to the event.

VIRTUAL – From Greek Mythology to Fairy Tales: What Fantastic Fictions Can Teach Adults About Real Life
Thursday, June 25, 7 – 8 p.m.
As part of the Adult Summer Reading theme, “Imagine Your Story,” Mark Schenker of Yale College will take a journey across a number of “fantastic fictions,” from the gravity of the monsters of Greek mythology to the comparative lightness of fairy tales, such as Hansel and Gretel and The Three Little Bears. Schenker will explore how these timeless tales are also reflections of the time and place of their creation. He will suggest how these fable-like stories, when treated with the same kind of critical attention we give to serious literary fiction, can have the power to transform the way we see the world—and ourselves.

VIRTUAL – Fiction Addiction Book Club
Monday, June 29, 6 – 7 p.m.
Join the Fiction Addiction Book Group virtually in reading Writers & Lovers by Lily King. New members are always welcome. In this story, Casey Peabody, blindsided by her mother’s sudden death and wrecked by a recent love affair, has arrived in Massachusetts in the summer of 1997 without a plan. Her mail consists of wedding invitations and final notices from debt collectors. A former child golf prodigy, she now waits tables in Harvard Square and rents a tiny, moldy room at the side of a garage where she works on the novel that she’s been writing for six years. At 31, Casey is still clutching onto something nearly all her old friends have let go of: the determination to live a creative life. When she falls for two very different men at the same time, her world fractures even more. Writers & Lovers is a transfixing novel that explores the terrifying and exhilarating leap between the end of one phase of life and the beginning of another.

VIRTUAL – Greenwich Pen Women Open Mic Night
Wednesday, July 8, 6 – 7:30 p.m.
Are you ready to grab the spotlight? The next Open Mic Night in Greenwich on Zoom invites writers and creatives to sign up for 5-minute slots to share original stories, scenes, poems, blogs, photographs, artwork, or music. Choose a piece that will help you shine. Space is limited, so register early! We will let speakers know roughly when their 5-minute time slot will be scheduled one or two days before the event. We only have space for 20 speakers, and all others will be placed in our audience and on the waiting list to speak. Interested in attending, but don’t want to speak? We would love to have you join as an audience member! Simply register and indicate that you are not interested in speaking. The event is sponsored by Greenwich Pen Women, a nonprofit organization of women who have earned professional credentials in writing, publishing, art, photography, and music.

VIRTUAL – Fiction Addiction Book Club
Monday, July 27, 6 – 7 p.m.
Join the Fiction Addiction Book Group virtually in reading The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin. New members are always welcome. In the spirit of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, Gabrielle Zevin’s enchanting novel is a love letter to the world of books—and booksellers—that changes our lives by giving us the stories that open our hearts and enlighten our minds. On the faded Island Books sign hanging over the porch of the Victorian cottage is the motto, “No Man Is an Island; Every Book Is a World.” A. J. Fikry, the irascible owner, is about to discover just what that truly means. A.J. Fikry’s life is not at all what he expected it to be. His wife has died, his bookstore is experiencing the worst sales in its history, and now his prized possession, a rare collection of Poe poems, has been stolen.

 VIRTUAL – Discovering Memoirs
Tuesday, August 4, 6 – 7 p.m.
Join the Fiction Addiction Book Group virtually in reading Inheritance by Dani Shapiro.

What makes us who we are? What combination of memory, history, biology, experience, and that ineffable thing called the soul defines us? In the spring of 2016, through a genealogy website to which she had whimsically submitted her DNA for analysis, Dani Shapiro received the stunning news that her father was not her biological father. She woke up one morning and her entire history—the life she had lived—crumbled beneath her. Inheritance is a book about secrets—secrets within families, kept out of shame or self-protectiveness, secrets we keep from one another in the name of love. It is the story of a woman’s urgent quest to unlock the story of her own identity, a story that has been scrupulously hidden from her for more than 50 years, years she had spent writing brilliantly, and compulsively, on themes of identity and family history. It is a book about the extraordinary moment we live in, a moment in which science and technology have outpaced not only medical ethics but also the capacities of the human heart to contend with the consequences of what we discover.

Summer Reading is made possible by the Friends of the Greenwich Library.

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