"Get a Clue" is this year's summer reading theme at libraries in the Daniel Boone Regional Library system.
"What we're going to do this summer is be reading detectives," the library's youth services coordinator Sarah Howard said.
Kids start by decorating their own detective badges that will be hung up in the library. The program consists of 12 activities and 20 hours of reading to be completed by August 17. Summer reading will put kids' thinking skills to the test.
"They get trading cards, and it will help them solve eight different puzzles throughout the summer, having to do with folk or fairy tales, or different types of literature," Howard said.
Reading is a skill that takes practice, even in summer, and it helps in other areas too.
"I think it helps with spelling, because there are some words that I did not know, and that I do know now," program participant Olivia Cunningham said.
"Literature helps me with my grammar and spelling," participant Roger White said.
Kids participating in the summer reading program will be able to use this reading record to keep track of the books they've read, and the activities they've completed. The library will give a puzzle to kids for each hour of reading or activity. Each set of four cards reveals a story for them to solve, which is a big incentive for some readers.
"There is a mystery surprise at the end if they finish the twelve activities and twenty hours of reading," Howard said. "But it's a mystery, so we're not telling them what it is."
"Get a Clue" is for kids ages two to twelve. Registration for the reading challenge for teens begins on June 11. Last year, kids read 37,000 books at the Columbia Public Library alone.