Link to Owner Dr. Robert B. Pamplin Jr.



Crook County offers local families an incredible opportunity to get free books in the mail each month

CENTRAL OREGONIAN - April WitteveenThe youth literature world lost two greats in recent weeks. Gary Paulsen (b. 1939) inspired generations of readers to seek adventure in the outdoors. Tributes to Paulsen abound; many adult readers credit Paulsen's coming-of-age, young man versus nature classic, Hatchet, as the book that brought them to love reading. Paulsen won numerous awards for his writing but has frequently commented that he isn't quite sure "how I became an author." While Paulsen didn't find success in formal education, failing many classes over time, he credits his local public librarian with keeping him reading and exposing him to a wide variety of stories.

Jerry Pinkney (b. 1939) is a renowned picture book illustrator and author. His photo-realistic style brings the pages of over 100 books to life. His work on books that feature African folktales and African American history allowed him to "revisit his childhood" according to one interview. Pinkney shared that reading has never come particularly easy to him, even as an adult. Considering young readers, Pinkney said "the key is to feed them the kind of material, the kind of subjects that they're interested in…That takes work on a parent's part or the teacher's part, to find what is interesting. Is it trucks? Is it history?"

Creators like Paulsen and Pinkney are just two of the gems you can find in the children's library here in Crook County. Our board books attract the earliest pre-readers, teaching the basic mechanics of how books work and engaging the senses with colors and simple stories. Young readers can move their way through our Easy Readers and Bridging Fiction sections, building confidence with longer phrases and extended plot lines. One of our most popular collections is our graphic novel section; while it may feel easy to dismiss graphic novels and comics as "not really reading," it's just the opposite. Visual literacy, the ability to construct meaning from images, is just as crucial a skill for today's youth as print literacy. Children who grow up with artistic picture books like those from Pinkney will be glad to see they can still get great stories with interesting art from graphic novels.

Are you interested in leading the youth in your life to a love of reading and stories? Crook County offers local families an incredible opportunity to get free books in the mail each month through the Dolly Parton Imagination Library. Titles are age-appropriate to each enrolled child, and the deliveries continue through elementary school. The Friends of the Crook County Library supported the development of the Imagination Library in our area, working in partnership with Better Together's Early Learning Hub. Pick up an application to join the program at the library or contact Better Together at 541-693-5784. Let's help all Crook County kids find the books that speak to them and watch the love of reading blossom.

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