Wednesday, May 3, 2017

2017 Summer Fun

I've been busily calling and emailing and scheduling, and we finally have our summer events lined up! Since our Funday Monday series was well-received last year, we're going with that schedule again for 2017. Join us as we "Read Nebraska Books" in honor of Nebraska (and Seward's) 150th birthdays. Our summer reading program features books by Nebraska authors or with Nebraska subjects, and we've lined up several Nebraska authors to join us at Chapters this summer. I'm also excited that we're including a Wisconsin author on the list, though she does have a Nebraska connection--she wrote one of the books on next year's Golden Sower nominee list. You'll get a sneak peek at that book this summer!

Highlights of our summer will include learning to juggle and perform with thumb puppets; partying with ninjas and a blobfish (yep, sounds fun, doesn't it?); eating pizza with an author of teen books from Omaha and picking her brain for writing advice; crafting with Rachel Pozehl; and more!

Please pre-register for our Funday Mondays, as space is limited. You can download the official registration form and brochure for our Funday Monday events on our website.

Here's the official schedule:
June 12, 11 a.m.-noon (Adults)
Nebraska author William Spradley will present on launching a writing career after age 70. He'll inspire you to quit saying "someday" and listen to your kids, who've been telling you to write those stories and memories and quit putting it off!

June 12, 1-2:30 p.m. (Ages 4-10)
Lincoln authors Tevin and Nichole Hansen bring an afternoon of fun. Kids can learn to juggle, make thumb puppets and act out their own shows that feature their thumbs in dramatic roles. We'll also have some story-reading, song-singing, and snack-making!

June 19, 1-2:30 p.m. (Ages 13-up)
Seward High School English teacher Melissa Pohl will lead a discussion of Panic by Sharon Draper. Draper is one of the authors who will be featured at the 2017 Plum Creek Children's Literacy Festival. Her novel raises many relevant issues and should be a great source of discussion, for teens and their parents or other interested adults.

June 26, 1-2:30 p.m. (Ages 4-10)
Rachel Pozehl, the creative force behind Two Dog Pond, leads an afternoon of crafting for kids. We haven't figured out exactly what projects we'll be doing, but be assured, since it's Rachel, it will be cool!

June 26, 3:30-5:00 p.m. (Ages 10-up)
Rachel Pozehl will be back for a Zentangle workshop. If you're not familiar with Zentangle, you should come learn about it. If you've taken one of Rachel's workshops before, you should come learn new tangles and applications! $25 Fee and Pre-reqistration REQUIRED.

July 3, 10-11:30 a.m., signing to follow (Ages 4-10)
Meet TWO great picture book authors, Omahan Rebecca Gomez (she was here last year to read her book What About Moose? to area school kids) and Miranda Paul, whose book One Plastic Bag is on next year's Golden Sower Nominee list. Since Rebecca and Miranda both have books about ninjas, expect some ninja-related fun. Since Miranda's new book features a blobfish who throws a party, don't be surprised by some fun with unique sea animals, too!

July 4, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. (Adults)
The 4th is not a Monday, but it's definitely a Fun Day here in Seward. Take time, as you check out the other activities here in town, to meet Nebraska author Stephanie Grace Whitson, who writes inspirational historical fiction. She'll be at Chapters from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. and will present a brief talk on her books and research at 11 a.m. Also on the 4th, Todd Williams, painter of the amazing paintings in the Legacy of Nebraska project for our state's 150th anniversary, will be here to sign copies of the book and talk about the project. He'll talk for a few minutes at noon, and then sign and answer questions until 2 p.m.

July 10, 5-7 p.m.  (Ages 12-up)
Ever wanted to sit down with an author over pizza and learn from her experience? That's exactly what you'll get when author Tonya Kuper joins us for an informal dinner, followed by a writing workshop, topic to be determined by the participants' requests. Teens who enjoy her books are welcome, as are adults interested in writing for teens and children. Please pre-register so we know how much pizza to order!

July 17, 1-2:30 p.m. (Ages 4-up)
Like poetry? If so, come read and write and play with words with us as Poetry Grandma Charlene Neely leads us in a fun workshop. If not, come join us anyway, and we'll convert you to a poetry lover!

July 24, 1-2:30 p.m. (Ages 4-up)
We're celebrating Nebraska books this summer, in honor of Nebraska's 150th birthday. We'll pick a few of our favorites for various ages to highlight on this Funday Monday and enjoy reading them, making related crafts, and having snacks. We may even write our own books--by Nebraska authors.

July 31, 1-2:30 p.m. (Ages 4-up) 

We'll end our Funday Mondays with a birthday party for our state and city, featuring--of course--games, birthday treats, and maybe even presents!

August 11, 1:00 p.m.
Again, it's not a Monday, but it will be a Fun Day, as Corduroy makes an appearance at the Seward County Fair for our annual storytime. Everyone is welcome.  

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Funday Mondays and some other great events

Can the summer really be half over already? With the 4th of July less than a week away, apparently it is! Between our Funday Mondays, an astronaut encounter, and "Give Me Summer, Give Me Books BINGO" the time has flown by--but summer isn't over yet, and there's still a lot of fun to come at Chapters!

Here's a quick recap of our June events and a look ahead to what's coming for the rest of the summer. For more photos, visit our Facebook page,

We started our Funday Mondays with a "Give Me Summer, Give Me Books BINGO" Kickoff party. We played summer bingo, made book bags from pillowcases and t-shirts, and got everyone started on their reading BINGO cards. (Have you picked yours up yet? You still have time!)

Our second Funday Monday was for the grown ups (and Kennedy). Rachel led two Zentangle workshops, one for beginners and one for the more advanced Zentanglers among us. If you missed this relaxing event and are interested in learning about the art of Zentangle, let me know. Rachel has offered to do another session later this summer or in the fall.

 It wasn't a Monday, but Saturday June 11 was still a fun day, as Nebraska's astronaut Clayton Anderson presented about his journey to becoming the "Ordinary Spaceman," inspired kids, and signed copies of his book at the Seward Memorial Library. What made the day even more special was that our own Ted Kooser was present at the event. Clayton took a copy of Ted's Delights and Shadows to space, and both are "Distinguished Alumni" at Iowa State University, so it was great that they had the opportunity to meet. 

June ended with a Dog Day Fun Day and a Creativity Kids Craft Day. The Daywitt family brought their lab puppies, and Dr. Dan Ellis and his dog Harvey shared pet care and safety tips before we made dog treats and toys to donate to Blue River Pet Rescue's foster dogs. Then, just days ago, we spent this Monday afternoon creating one-of-a-kind masterpieces out of everything from feathers to marshmallows.

As July approaches, we're gearing up for a visit with author Stephanie Grace Whitson on July 4th--two visits, actually, one at 10:00 a.m. and another at 1:00 p.m. Stephanie's new book, Messenger by Moonlight is about the Pony Express, and she'll share fascinating facts about her research for the book.

July's Funday Mondays include a Laugh Out Loud Stories Day (July 11) and, the one we've all been waiting for, Cola Fountains and Splattering Paint Bombs and Other Messy Science on July 18, as well as Teacher Appreciation Day July 25.

Rounding out July is a new Harry Potter book, and yes, we're having a Midnight Release Party. It will be July 30, beginning at 11:30 p.m. and ending at 12:30 a.m. July 31. We'll also be open July 31 from 8-9:00 a.m. and from 12:00-2:00 p.m. for those who can wait a few hours for their new Harry Potter fix.
And, last but not least for the summer, don't miss Curious George at the Seward County Fair on Friday, August 12 at 1:00 p.m. It's his 75th birthday, so expect a treat, as well as a chance to meet George and read some fun stories.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Nebraska's Astronaut Clayton Anderson Visits Seward

A few weeks ago as I walked into the house, I heard a voice through my answering machine (yes, we still have both a landline and an answering machine). "This is Nebraska's astronaut Clay Anderson." I dropped my bag and ran to grab the phone, just in time for an exciting conversation. It's not every day you get to talk to a REAL astronaut, especially one who wants to come to your store for a book signing and presentation!

Clayton Anderson is coming to Seward June 11 from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. He'll be presenting a talk, "How I Became the Ordinary Spaceman," and signing his book The Ordinary Spaceman. We're holding the event at the Seward Memorial Library because they have a bigger room, and you can reserve a seat at the presentation by picking up a FREE ticket at either Chapters or the library. Depending on how many tickets we hand out, there may or may not be seats available for people without tickets, so be sure to get your ticket, which also reserves you a place in the signing line.
Clayton Anderson grew up in Ashland, Nebraska, and now lives in Houston, Texas. He  retired from NASA in 2013, after a thirty year career that included two missions to the International Space Station. He's a graduate of both Hastings College and Iowa State University.
Books are available for pre-purchase now. If you can't make it to the event, you're welcome to purchase books and leave them with us, and we'll have them signed for you when he's in town.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Ted Kooser Book Release Party

Join us at Chapters Saturday, May 7 at 11:00 a.m. 
for a very special book release party!
Enter to win Ted Kooser's pastel drawing of the bridge.
Former US Poet Laureate, Pulitzer Prize Winner, and Garland, Nebraska, resident Ted Kooser's next book will be released in May, and Chapters is honored to host a book release party for him. This is one party you won't want to miss! We'll have Ted's book available, to be personally signed, before it's available anywhere else. In addition, Ted has created a pastel drawing of the bridge featured in the book, and we'll be giving it away to one lucky winner who is in attendance at our event.

The Bell in the Bridge, new from Ted Kooser and Barry Root
The new book is The Bell in the Bridge, a children's picture book illustrated by Barry Root, who also illustrated Ted's first picture book, Bag in the Wind. The book has received starred reviews from Publishers' Weekly and other publications. Between them, Ted and the illustrator perfectly capture the feel of lazy, lonely summer days in the rural Midwest.

When Charlie visits his grandparents' farm, he finds ways to entertain himself--catching tadpoles, whacking weeds, and dropping rocks from an iron bridge. One day he strikes the bridge with a big rock, making it ring like a bell, and hears an answering "bong" from far down the valley. What causes the noise is a mystery, and "there is nothing better than a good mystery when a person is lonely and bored in the middle of summer."

We all know there's nothing better than a book by Ted Kooser in any season!