Friday, May 15, 2015

Summer Camp at Chapters

Every spring, I start thinking about Chapters' summer camp. In about February, I start seeing every post on my facebook feed, every article I read or author I talk to or event kit that comes to the store, as a potential summer camp springboard.  This year, this article that I came across on facebook was my inspiration. 

"Lifesize games!" I thought. "How fun would that be!" And then I started listing all the books I could think of that have games in them (and got the rest of the Chapters staff involved), and then the "Where's Waldo in Seward" hunt was born. I contacted author Chris Grabenstein, author of Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library, which revolves around a game maker's library-based scavenger hunt, about a possible author visit to the store. He can't make it in person, but he created a video just for us. And Brian Albright volunteered to explain the mathematics behind one of our favorite games, Spot It!.

Pretty soon we had our theme, and our week of fun began to come together.
This year our camp will be June 29-July 3. Our theme is "It's all fun and games till someone gets lost in a book." We hope you'll join us as we unravel mysteries, find Waldo, travel to mysterious lands where books can fly, play with our food, design our own "Spot It!" decks and figure out how the game works, go on treasure hunts, and lose ourselves in some great books. We'll have sessions for preschoolers and elementary school age kids, as well as one for the whole family and one or two for big kids and adults.
Ages 4-6 will meet from 10-11:30 in the mornings, Monday-Thursday June 29-July 2.
Ages 6-10 will meet from 1-2:30 in the afternoons, Monday-Thursday June 29-July 2.
Special sessions include a Monday afternoon Spot It! workshop for ages 10 and up, during which Brian Albright will help us unravel the secret to Spot It! and a Friday morning party to kick off the "Where's Waldo in Seward" event.
Our camps are free for everyone, but preregistration is required. Space is limited, so sign up early by downloading the registration form from our website
We hope you'll join us for this fun week!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Rufus Seder Signing

We began the month of May with a day of author signings, and we're going to end it the same way, with a very special author appearance on May 31, when Rufus Butler Seder will sign books at Chapters.

Rufus Seder's books appeal to readers of all ages because of their unique and intriguing "scanimation" illustrations that actually move when the reader moves the page. His creations include Star Wars, Peanuts, and Wizard of Oz scanimation books, as well as books of animals and kids in motion.

Rufus Seder may be best known for his optically animated art installations in public spaces in the United States and around the world. His murals, which are composed of "lifetiles," can be found at Amtrak stations, zoos, the Smithsonian, and in many other places. His newest mural is right here in Seward. 

The new mural is part of the Heartfelt Memorial, which was created by Heartfelt Incorporated on the Concordia University campus. Heartfelt Incorporated offers grief support for parents who have experienced the death of a child. The memorial is being dedicated with a ceremony on Sunday, May 31 at 2:00 p.m. Rufus Seder will be participating in the dedication. He has graciously agreed to sign copies of his books at Chapters after the ceremony, from approximately 3:30-4:30. Book sales that day will benefit Heartfelt Incorporated.

To see more about Rufus Seder's work, visit his website at To learn more about Heartfelt Incorporated, visit them at To purchase a book in advance, contact us at Chapters.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Independent Bookstore Day Wrap Up

Saturday, May 2 was America's first-ever Independent Bookstore Day. Thanks to everyone who helped us celebrate at Chapters, whether you're one of the featured authors or one of those who came to meet them. For those of you unfortunate enough to be attending track meets, taking the SAT, hosting a bridal shower, or getting ready for prom, here's a taste of what you missed. Lucky for you, most of the authors left a few signed copies of their books. They won't be personalized, but they'll still make great gifts.

We started the day with presentations from Jeff McArthur, Shawn Farritor, and Sydney Olson, who provided fascinating background on their topics. Who knew Al Capone's brother was a lawman in Nebraska, or that the very last battle between the Sioux and Pawnee took place in Nebraska, or that Sydney was a pageant queen? If you're curious and want to know more, pick up one of the books by these authors!

Our second hour of authors featured Toni Morehouse, Les Williams, and Brian Hale. Toni used the picture book she wrote to illustrate interactive read-aloud strategies. I couldn't agree with her more on the importance of reading aloud with kids of all ages. Les shared the background for his collected short crime stories, and Brian reminded us all that whether we're lucky or unlucky depends a lot on how we look at circumstances. Luck is a difficult concept to pin down, and his book attempts to do so.

Saturday afternoon, we were excited to host our own Ted Kooser, who signed copies of his two newest books. Unfortunately, I forgot to mention that day that a new collection of poetry for children features one of Ted's poems. If you haven't seen Death of the Hat yet, stop in and check it out. It's currently on our "Books We Love" shelf, and you'll easily see why.  

Lucy Adkins and Anita Stohs both work with writers' groups as well as writing their own books, and they shared some information about their projects. Read Lucy's blog if you need inspiration and Anita's sweet board book if you need the perfect gift for a special baby. Lydia Kang and Tonya Kuper, authors of young adult fantasies, rounded out our hour. Their books appeal to teens and those of us adults who do most of our reading in the YA section. This photo of Tonya, Ted, and Lydia is my favorite image of the day.

Finally, we closed out the afternoon with an appearance by Stephanie Grace Whitson and Karen Shoemaker. They were the perfect pairing, as both write meticulously-researched historical novels. Stephanie's new novel is set in Missouri during the Civil War, Karen's in Nebraska just after World War I. The heroines of both books endure great challenges and provide fascinating reading that brings history to life.

You may have noticed that two of the authors who were scheduled to sign didn't make it. We'd like to offer our condolences to Mike Curd, who had to change his plans due to a death in the family. Greg Kuzma also was unable to make it Saturday. We missed you both!
Again, we appreciate all of our authors taking the time to come to Chapters. It was an honor to host you, and we hope you enjoyed the day as much as we did. For us, Independent Bookstore Day was a day to celebrate authors, our place in the Seward community, and our valued customers. Thank you all for allowing us the opportunity to do so.