Go for the Gold (and Silver)

By Jeanette Larson

Books to Share

  • America's Champion Swimmer: Gertrude Ederle by David Adler.
  • Bicycle Man by Allan Say.
  • Gus and Gertie and the Lucky Charms by Joan Lowery Nixon.
  • Mirette on the High Wire by Emily Arnold McCully.
  • The Mud Flat Olympics by James Stevenson.

Books to Show or Booktalk

  • The Chicken Doesn’t Skate by Gordon Korman.
  • Loser by Jerry Spinelli.
  • Roller Skates by Ruth Sawyer.
  • Summerland by Michael Chabon.
  • Taking Sides by Gary Soto.
  • The View from Saturday by E. L. Konigsburg.

Bulletin Board

Winning Titles

Because the activities in the section focus on award-winning authors and illustrators, decorate the bulletin board to spotlight some favorites. Upstart sells posters in a “Meet the Authors” series. Purchase posters that feature photographs and information about award-winning authors and illustrators. Put the posters on the bulletin board and add sheets of paper and pencils for the kids to write the titles of their favorite books and authors.


Pick a Winner!

Display stuffed dolls representing classic and award-winning book characters. Check with local schools and community members to borrow some for the summer. Junie B. Jones, Paddington, the Berenstain Bears, Captain Underpants, and Harry Potter are just a few of the dolls available. Dolls are available from Merrymakers, which carries a wide variety of characters, and through Amazon. Browse “Toys” and search for “character dolls” or the name of the character. Many dolls are also available from The Library Store.


Oriental Trading Company sells inexpensive plastic gold tone “winner” medals. Give one to each child who attends your program.

Rhymes and Poetry

I Like Books

(By Jeanette Larson.)

I like books,

I like to read.

Words feed my brain,

They change my terrain.

Reading helps me go

Anywhere I’d like to roam.

Read “When I Read” in The Break Dance Kids: Poems of Sport, Motion, and Locomotion by Lillian Morrison.


Take Me Out to the Library

(Adapted by Jeanette Larson. Sing to the tune “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.”)

Take me out to the library,

Take me out for some fun.

Check out some mysteries,

And story books.

Other books are filled with facts.

And I’ve two weeks to bring them all back!

If I don’t read it’s a shame.

‘Cause there’s one, two, three shelves of books

At the li-brar-y!

Audio Recordings

“Blast into Books” on Take Me to Your Library by Monty Harper.


Sports Magnets


  • Small round craft magnets
  • Flat clear glass gems (1/2” or 1” size)
  • Old sports magazines
  • Craft glue (clear drying)
  • Scissors
  • Pencils
  • Small steel containers (optional)


In advance, purchase enough flat, clear glass gems for each child to make at least six magnets. Glass gems are flat on one side and convex on the other. They are available from Pier 1 Imports and at other stores that sell floral supplies. Let the children find a couple of pictures that they like in the magazines. Small photos, such as close-ups of players and sports equipment, will work best. After selecting their pictures, the children place the glass gem over the picture, moving it around until they are pleased with the image. The image will be slightly magnified by the glass gem. Then they trace around the glass gem and cut the picture to be slightly smaller than the tracing lines. Use the craft glue to attach the picture to the flat side of the glass gem, being sure that the glue is applied to the picture side. Allow the glue to dry. Glue a magnet to the back of the picture. Ceramic button magnets are available from Guildcraft Arts and Crafts or you can use small pieces cut from recycled advertising magnets. If desired, collect small steel containers, such as Altoids™ packages, and let the kids decorate them with sports pictures. Use the tin to store the magnets.

Games and Activities

Library Magic

Teach the kids some magic tricks. Visit web sites that offer instructions, such as Conjuror Magic or use books available in your collection. While you could invite a magician to teach the tricks, it might be better to show the kids that there is magic in books and librarians are magicians when it comes to reading.

Purchase the card game, Authors. Similar to “Go Fish,” the game has been around for generations and features classic authors. Additional sets feature children’s authors, women authors, and American authors. If you can’t find sets locally, they are widely available via the Internet; try Uncle’s Games.

Guest Speakers

Invite a local author to talk about writing as a hobby and a vocation. Check the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators for local members. Various Texas chapters cover about half of the state.


If you have public performance rights, show these videos and DVDs, or segments of them, to the children. Otherwise, display them for home use.

  • King of the Wind. (101 minutes)
  • Maniac Magee. (30 minutes)

Web Sites

Becoming a Published Author Madlib
Experience the thrill of seeing your name in a newspaper article announcing the award your book has won!

Harry Potter Wizard Challenge
Test your knowledge about J. K. Rowling’s books with these questions submitted by other readers.

Welcome to Narnia
Explore the magical land and try your hand at a trivia quiz.

Professional Resources

The Break Dance Kids: Poems of Sport, Motion, and Locomotion by Lillian Morrison.
Conjuror Magic!
Alexander, who has appeared on The Learning Channel, offers free instructions for beginners learning magic tricks.

Database of Award Winning Children’s Literature
Search by award, setting, age, and other criteria to find the best children’s literature.

Purchase small round magnets from this craft supplier.

The Library Store
Search for “plush” to locate an assortment of book related character dolls.

The dolls offered by this company are based on children’s books and historical figures.

Pier 1 Imports
If a store is not accessible, order craft supplies on-line.

Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators
This organization of published and aspiring authors and illustrators has several chapters in Texas.

Uncle’s Games
This on-line game shop has a wide variety of games for sale.

Purchase posters that feature well-known children’s authors.


Texas Reading Club 2006 Programming Manual / Reading: The Sport of Champions!

Published by the Library Development Division of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission

Page last modified: June 14, 2011