Summer reading explores heroes and legends

Children are often asked to think about who their hero is—someone who inspires them to learn more, work harder or be a better person. Adults? Not so much. Maybe adults are busy trying to be someone’s hero, but it’s useful at all ages to have someone to inspire us.

This summer, people of all ages are invited to think about what it means to be a hero through the Heroes and Legends summer reading programs at the Cleveland Heights-University Heights Public Library. The programs will explore heroes through films, books, games, discussions, explorations, roaming the wonders of history, admiring the beauties of art, sparking the imagination, and going on quests big and small, across the globe and right here at home.

For infants through pre-K, the Tiny Titans program includes activities for parents to use with their children to promote early literacy, such as singing a song with their child. In the Every Hero Has a Story program, children from kindergarten through age 12 will work to complete 16 hours of reading, four math activities and two "noble deed" volunteer activities to win free passes and annual family passes to cultural institutions, such as the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo and Great Lakes Science Center. There will also be children’s programs at all branches, featuring magicians, musicians and the Bubble Lady throughout the summer, with a final party on Aug. 6 at the Lee Road Library.

The teen program, Library League of Heroes, encourages teens to add to the Tree of Heroes, join the Comic Book Reading Club, or drop by Super Hero Cinema every Wednesday afternoon at the Lee Road Library. Those who complete the entire program are entered into a raffle for a Kindle Fire.

For adults, the theme expands to include programs on heroic tales, mythology, folklore and real-life adventures. For every book read, a participant will be eligible for a weekly drawing for prizes, including one of three grand prizes: a Bag of Loot, with gift cards valued at $50; a Treasure Chest, with $100 in gift cards; and a Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Nook.

In July, (Super)Heroes, an interactive exhibit in the Lee Road Art Gallery, will help visitors think about who their favorite superhero is, who their real-life hero is, and what their real-life super power may be. Visitors will be invited to participate with a Post-it note wall, and to step into the (Super)Hero set, complete with a comic book background, where they can take pictures or act out their favorite heroic moments.

Part of this project will involve recording visitors on a stop-motion camera as they participate in the activities. These images will be shared on social media and other outlets.

Summer reading programs run from June 1 to Aug. 7. For more information, stop by any Heights library, call 216-932-3600 or visit

Julia Murphy

Julia Murphy is the marketing assistant for the Cleveland Heights-University Heights Public Library.

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Volume 8, Issue 6, Posted 6:29 PM, 05.28.2015