Escondido Public Library Hosts R.E.A.D. Middle Grade Book Club

Escondido, CA – Escondido Public Library announces a new book club for kids in elementary school, called the Read, Eat, and Discuss (R.E.A.D.) Middle Grade Book Club, designed for children, ages 9-12 years old. The first meeting will be on Friday, February 7, 2014, in the Library’s Turrentine Room from 3:00 – 4:00 PM. The program, hosted by Youth Services Librarian Lalitha Nataraj, will meet in February, April, and May, and offer riveting book discussions, tasty snacks, and crafts for attendees. The first discussion will be on Smile by award-winning cartoonist, Raina Telgemeier. Copies of the book will be available for checkout at the Children’s Desk.

Telgemeier’s autobiographical graphic novel chronicles her intense experience with dental surgeries and orthodontics, as well as the complexities of adolescence. During a Girl Scout trip, sixth-grader Raina trips and falls, severely injuring her two front teeth. For the next five years, she undergoes numerous surgeries and wears braces on- and off-again in order to correct the damage. Her dental traumas magnify her teenage experiences, as she navigates romantic crushes, friendship drama, and a major earthquake. Regardless of whether they wear braces, readers will wholeheartedly relate to this touching coming-of-age story.

Nataraj noted that, “Book clubs provide a wonderful space for young readers to commune with others who share the same excitement about books. Vibrant discussions, book-themed crafts, and socializing with others are a perfect way to engage reluctant readers.” The next R.E.A.D. Middle Grade Book Club meetings will be on April 4, and May 30, 2014, from 3-4 PM in the Turrentine Room, where readers will discuss Pickle by Kim Baker, and The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate.

The Escondido Public Library is located at 239 South Kalmia Street in Escondido. Library programs are free and open to the public and sponsored by the Friends of the Library. For information about the R.E.A.D. Middle Grade Book Club, please contact Youth Services Librarian, Lalitha Nataraj, at 760-839-5456 or at Additional information about the Library’s programs for children can be found at