Edgar Allan Poe for children

Zack squeezes the Tell-Tale Heart during our Poe-themed obstacle course.

Zack squeezes the Tell-Tale Heart during our Poe-themed obstacle course.

As we may have mentioned once or twice already, Mentor Library has dedicated the month of July to Edgar Allan Poe. All month, we’ve been hosting Know Poe events: citywide book clubs, free film festivals, scary video contests; and we still have more to come.

However, admittedly, a lot of our Know Poe programs have been for adults and teens. After all, with all the people getting dismemberedburied or burnt alive, it’s difficult to design appropriate Poe programming for children.

But Mentor Public Library is for the whole family, so we took it upon ourselves to create programs that would introduce children to Poe without traumatizing them.

Peyton and her mom, Theresa, sort out some Poe codes during our cryptography program at Headlands.

Peyton and her mom, Theresa, sort out some Poe codes during our cryptography program at Headlands.

For example, we held a program for kids about Poe’s love of cryptography last Saturday at our Headlands Branch.

Cryptography, in case you haven’t heard of it, is secret writing. Or, rather, it’s using codes and rubrics to hide secrets in plain sight. Poe was fascinated by cryptography and hid all sorts of secret messages in his prose and poetry. For example, he hid the name of his friend Sarah Anna Lewis in his poem “An Enigma.”

On Saturday, the kids used one of Poe’s own rubrics to crack codes and learn secret messages.

Erin came dressed in costume for our life-sized, Poe-inspired game of Clue.

Erin came dressed in costume for our life-sized, Poe-inspired game of Clue.

Then this week, we had a special life-sized version of Clue in which we transformed the Garfield Room into an enormous game board. Then we substituted Colonel Mustard and company with characters, places and demises from Poe stories.

Some people even showed up in costume.

Elizabeth hides in the House of Usher.

Elizabeth hides in the House of Usher.

Just yesterday, we unveiled a special obstacle course where all 10 obstacles come from Poe stories. Kids had to dodge The Pendulum, escape The House of Usher, break The Gold-Bug’s code and even make their own mask for a masquerade.

For more photos from the obstacle course, check out Mentor Library’s Facebook page.

And we’re not done yet.

On July 22, kids can use their sleuthing skills to solve a mystery at our Mentor-on-the-Lake Branch. After all, Poe did invent the detective genre, as well as horror.

(By the way, I know it’s not for children but we’re hosting a special horror writing workshop for teens on on Saturday at our Main Branch. It’s a fun opportunity for young writers to hone their crafts.)

You can sign up for any and all of these Know Poe events on Mentor Public Library’s website.

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Paws-ing to read

Nobody finds Paws to Read more relaxing than Olivia.

Nobody finds Paws to Read more relaxing than Caesar.

I’ve been talking about Poe and science so much this summer that I’ve neglected an old favorite—Paws to Read.

This program is a personal favorite. It pairs young readers (between the ages of six and 12 years old) with therapy dogs, who listen to the children as they read.

If your child can read independently but doesn’t like to do it in front of other people, you might try signing them up for Paws to Read. (Especially if your son or daughter is also a dog lover.)

Annaliesse read to our newest Paws to Read volunteer: Jazz.

Annaliesse read to our newest Paws to Read volunteer: Jazz.

The next session is scheduled for Wednesday, Aug. 20, at Mentor Library’s Main Branch.

Registration fills up quickly, so contact the children’s department at Mentor Public Library soon if you think you child could benefit from Paws to Read.

There is often a waiting list for the program once registration begins.

For more information on Paws to Read and other children’s programs at Mentor Public Library call (440) 255-8811 ext. 221.

Jenna and Diva take a reading break for some snuggle time.

Jenna and Diva take a reading break for some snuggle time.

For more photos from Paws to Read, visit Mentor Library’s Facebook page.

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Mermaids and parades with Mentor Library

Mentor Public Library broke out its finest beachwear for the Fourth of July parade in Mentor Headlands. Our theme: Dive into reading!

If you missed us on the Fourth, you can see us at the CityFest Parade on Aug. 23.

Jason channels Jimmy Buffett.

Jason channels Jimmy Buffett.

Driver/Navigator prepares for the parade route.

Driver/Navigator prepares for the parade route.

That's right. We found a real live mermaid. Her name is Marilyn and she works in the children's department.

That’s right. We found a real live mermaid. Her name is Marilyn and she works in the children’s department.

Doreen, Gail and Shannon get ready to dive in.

Doreen, Gail and Shannon get ready to dive in.

The gangs all here!

The gangs all here!

Beach bums Cailey, Meredith, Kristin, Marilyn and Catherine get ready for the parade. (And that's lifeguard Kim on duty in the background.)

Beach bums Cailey, Meredith, Kristin, Marilyn and Catherine get ready for the parade. (And that’s lifeguard Kim on duty in the background.)

Our sand castle has a drawbridge (but no sand.)

Our sand castle has a drawbridge (but no sand.)

No water in sight? Easiest lifeguard job ever.

No water in sight? Easiest lifeguard job ever.

For more photos from the parade and other library programs, visit our Facebook page.

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Teens have a Minute to Win It

Teens competed in our Minute to Win It competition this Saturday.

You’re going to want to watch the video—if only to see the faces the contestants made during Face the Cookie. (They have to move a cookie from their foreheads to their mouths, using only the muscles in their face.)

By the way, teens still have time to sign up for Mentor Library’s summer reading program and our free horror writing workshop this Saturday.

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Teens can enjoy a spa day on us

Angelina and Rosa relax with their face masks on during the Spa Day at the library last year.

Angelina and Rosa relax with their face masks on during the Spa Day at the library last year.

Hey teens, that summer job got you down? The looming return of school already feel overwhelming?

You deserve a break. Enjoy a free spa day on us this Tuesday at our Main Branch.

You can make yourself avocado face mask, paint your nails, get a hand massage—just relax.

(Oh, and while you’re here, make sure to sign up for our summer reading program and our free horror writing workshop this Saturday.)

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