Forest of Reading® 2013!

We decided not to go the tree route again this year, and instead, chose an “Urban” forest theme for our Forest of Reading® wall. The display allows our young participants to see what books are in their category and also to give a little colour to our library walls for a few months.


There are plenty of great books this year in each category, from a picture book about the origins of the Earth to a non-fiction book about underwear to a laugh-out-loud novel about a sea monster. You can see all of the books on the Forest of Reading® website right here.

If you know a young reader in Kindergarten to Grade 6, drop by the library and we’ll get them registered to start reading. It’s a great idea to get a head start over the holidays when there’s more time to read– we require readers to finish at least 8 books in their category in order to be able to vote in April. The more they read, the better they’ll be able to decide which book was the best!

I’ll be visiting schools in January to talk to students about the program, but we’ll try to catch readers before the holidays if they drop into the library, too. Until then, Happy Reading!

It’s a Forest in here!


(Getting ready for Forest of Reading®)

It’s back….Forest of Reading® at the Carleton Place Public Library!  This is one of our favourite reading programs and we’re excited to begin in December so that the kids have a head start. It runs now through the end of April, so there’s plenty of time, but why not drop in, sign up and get reading now?


What exactly is Forest of Reading®?  It’s a wonderful annual program where kids from Kindergarten through Grade 6 aim to read TEN Canadian books from a selection based on their grade level, and then they get to vote on their favourite book! Once all the winners are tabulated, the Canadian authors/illustrators with the most votes win an award. What’s so unique about this?  It’s the only award given to a Canadian author that is only chosen by children!

This year, we’re planning something special with our display wall, so watch for more on that soon. In the meantime, the books are ready to go, and this year, we’re participating in the following categories:

Blue Spruce™ — Kindergarten to Grade 2

Silver Birch Express™ –  Grade 3 & 4

Silver Birch Fiction™ and Silver Birch Non-Fiction™ — Grades 5 & 6

And this year, we’re trying something new…..a French category for children in Kindergarten to Grade 4 called Le Prix Peuplier™!

In January, we’ll have more detailed information about the books and the categories and how the program runs. In the meantime, if you think your young reader would like to participate, drop by the library later this week to register and get started!

It’s a Jungle out there. No, wait, it’s a FOREST!

This week, we registered for the wonderful Forest of Reading® Program once again. This year is going to be even more exciting, with a new category and of course, lots of new books! While it doesn’t officially start until December here, I’m going to give you a little preview and explain the new category as well.

First, what is Forest of Reading®? It’s the largest recreational reading program in the country, where kids get to pick the winning books! They read from a selection of ten books in their age category and then vote at the end of the session. Once the child registers, all they have to do is come in and take out a book and get reading.

It’s a great program because there’s plenty of time to finish all ten books. We’ll start in December and run this through April. At the very end, we’ll have a special voting night and party to celebrate, and post “our” winning books. It’s usually lots of fun and the kids get to read a great selection of amazing Canadian books. Plus, it’s free!

This year, we’re running three different categories, including one in French! For kids in Kindergarten to Grade 2, we’re offering The Blue Spruce™ Award and Le Prix Peuplier. For children in Grades 3 & 4, it’ll be the Silver Birch Express™ Award, and for the slightly older set (Grades 5 & 6), we’re offering the Silver Birch Fiction™ category as well as the Silver Birch Non-Fiction™ Award category. In order to be able to vote in April, participants at our library will have to read at least seven out of the ten books in their category. Often, we have many readers who finish all ten books, however, and some who even move on to try the next category!  It’s very exciting.

Don’t worry, we’ll have lots more information closer to the start date in December, but you can read more about the program here if you’re interested. Right now, we’ve ordered the books and we’re going to start reading right away! We’ll also visit the schools in the coming months to get kids involved.  This is one of our most popular programs, so if you’re looking for a way to motivate your young reader, this is it.  Stay tuned!

And the winners are…

Forest of Reading® was another successful program this year for all our young participants.  While we finished up all our reading and voting at the end of April, the official winners weren’t announced until just this week!

So which books won?

Blue Spruce Official Winner 2012– GIRAFFE & BIRD by Rebecca Bender


Silver Birch Express Official Winner 2012 — WHEN APPLES GREW NOSES and WHITE HORSES FLEW : Tales of Ti-Jean by Jan Andrews


Silver Birch Fiction Official Winner 2012 — UNDERGROUNDERS by David Skuy

Silver Birch Non-Fiction Official Winner 2012 — DON’T TOUCH THAT TOAD & OTHER STRANGE THINGS ADULTS TELL YOU by Catherine Rondina


What do we do with the books?

Now that Forest of Reading® is over again for another year, we’re getting all the books back and trying to get organized. It’s a big process, considering we purchase up to three copies of each book for the program.  That means, when it’s all over, we’ll have to take those books off our system (no need to have three copies of one book). So what do we do with those discarded books? Not to worry, they don’t go to waste.

Our leftovers from 2012

We usually donate a box of books to at least one school library, for starters.  It’s a great way to reward the readers of that school for doing such a great job in participating, and it helps provide a few new books in great condition to school libraries which might not have a huge budget for books. We also keep a nice stack to use as prizes for the kids next year. Everyone who reads enough books is allowed to vote, so we give them a little reward, which includes these books. We like to think of it as recycling.

So, no worries. The books don’t go to waste and we don’t end up selling them, if we can help it. It’s just one way to keep our book collection organized and useful!

They came, they voted, they ate cake!

Last night was our Forest of Reading® voting night at the library and what an exciting night it was! We had plenty of voters this year, many who had read all 10 books in their category. They registered with Janet, who handed out the ballots and then the kids went into the voting booths and made their decisions.

There were plenty of tough choices for the kids. For some, it was down to the wire on which books they’d choose as their favourites. But after much thought, the winners in our library were as follows:

Blue Spruce – A Flock of Shoes

Silver Birch Express – Banjo of Destiny

Silver Birch Fiction -  That Boy Red

Silver Birch Non-Fiction – Don’t Touch That Toad

Everyone had a great time after the vote, eating cake and looking at their prizes.

Now, we’ll send our tabulations to Toronto, where they’ll be added to those of all the other participating libraries and schools. We’ll wait for the official announcement after May 15th and then let all our readers know which books won. It’s always exciting to see if our readers pick the same winners.

Thanks to Janet for all her voting help and a BIG thanks to everyone who read books this year and came to vote. Great job everyone!


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