Escondido, CA – Escondido Public Library’s Read, Eat, and Discuss (R.E.A.D.) Middle Grade Book Club for children, ages 9-12, meets on Friday, February 6, 2015, in the Turrentine Room from 3:30 – 4:30 p.m. Ben Hatke’s Zita the Spacegirl will be discussed, followed by a craft activity. Beginning January 14, 2015, a limited number of copies of Zita the Spacegirl will be available for checkout at the Children’s Desk.

In Ben Hatke’s whimsical graphic novel, a young girl finds herself immersed in an intergalactic adventure. While exploring a meteoroid crater with her friend, Joseph, Zita discovers an unusual device with a red button. She presses it and summons an alien creature that kidnaps Joseph. Fearless Zita makes a plan to rescue him, and along the way, she encounters a motley bunch of beings that assist in her pursuit, including a giant mouse, a blob-like creature named Strong Strong, and a mobile battle orb named One. Fans of quest stories such as The Wizard of Oz will appreciate Hatke’s modern take on a beloved classic.

Youth Services Librarian Lalitha Nataraj said, “Much of the success of the R.E.A.D. Middle Grade Book Club has to do with offering a wide range of books, craft activities, and meaningful interactions with writers to engage children. We aim to promote reading in a fun, engaging way.”

The next R.E.A.D. Middle Grade Book Club meeting will be on Friday, May 29, 2015, from 3:30 – 4:30 p.m. in the Turrentine Room, where readers will discuss A Snicker of Magic by Natalie Lloyd.

The Escondido Public Library is located at 239 South Kalmia Street in Escondido. Library programs are free and open to the public and generously sponsored by Friends of the Escondido Public Library. For information about the R.E.A.D. Middle Grade Book Club, contact Youth Services Librarian, Lalitha Nataraj, at 760-839-5458 or at Additional information about the Library’s programs for all ages can be found at