The Boy was fully involved in a Berenstain Bears book when he saw, out of the corner of his eye, a bookseller reaching for the Dr. Seuss book he was planning to read next.
“Excuse me,” he said, with manners that made me proud. “I still would like to look at that book.”
“Oh, that’s fine,” said the bookseller lady, and I assured her that we would shelve it when we were done. She went on about her business, but she came back a few minutes later with a little pamphlet. She scooted a bench over to where The Boy was sitting and began to sell him on their summer reading program. About which, I am embarrassed to say, I was unfamiliar. I should have known about it! We were already on board with the Richmond Public Library one, where you are entered in a drawing for a Kindle Fire, and the Pizza Hut one, where you win — wait for it — free pizza. But this one had somehow slipped by us.
The pamphlet, which was actually a reading log, had spaces for The Boy to record the names and authors of eight books read over the summer. Then there was an additional space for him to write a brief review, which was a nice touch. Then — then — on the back, there was a short list of books from which he would be allowed to pick one title to receive free for completing the reading log.
And on that list? Was a Hero Factory Bionicle book.
She didn’t have to ask him twice. He was gung ho on their reading program from that moment on. Who needs pizza? Kindle what? He was all about getting that Bionicle book.
We logged one book before we left the bookstore, and when I left, I saw bookseller lady signing up another kid over by the train table. She should totally get a raise, and a medal, because she is the champion and evangelist of the summer reading program. A woman after my own heart. I salute you, bookseller lady! Thank you for all you do for reading.