this week at the FPL

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What a great day at the library! It was Mystery Day (which could have been called many other things, but Mystery Day sounded the best).

I set up stations like the tool table. Kids had to say what each tool was used for. The offerings ran the gamut from a prehistoric ax head to a railroad spike.

The animal table had a manatee vertebra, a cow skull, some armadillo armor, a hawk feather, and coral. The manatee vertebra caused the most confusion.

The kids also had to identify objects by feel, read sentences written backwards, find words in the dictionary that they didn’t know and write out definitions, find the non-bean items in a jar of dried beans without opening the lid, and memorize the opening line of a book to be recited before they would get the usual end-of-library piece of cake.

As for the cake, they had to find it by following a trail of written clues like: look in a very small room with a flag and a door (the mailbox).

As an added bonus our volunteer Jorge, back from college in Chicago, showed up (after a shaming note from me asking where the heck he was). Jorge holds the record, volunteering with us all four years he was in high school.

In addition to Mystery, we all read, kids and volunteers alike and reported on what we had read, in case anyone else might want to know “Ten Ways To Make Your Sister Disappear.”

It was a good send off for me. The next three Sundays while I teach creative writing and be a grandmother others will be baking the cakes, coming up with the activities and setting the reading timer (and watching eyes roll at the thought of compulsory reading). And hopefully I will come back refreshed and with new wacky ideas for library programs.

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