2022 Pelham Reads! October 1&2! Rain or Shine!

2022 Pelham Reads! October 1&2! Rain or Shine!

Pelham Reads!:
An Explainer on This Fall’s Pinnacle Literary Event
(Plus, the One Book to Read With Your Kids So You’re Ready For It!)

 Quick Links to all you need to know about this event:

What is Pelham Reads! and when is it happening?

You’ve heard a bit of the buzz about 2022 Pelham Reads!, and you may even have seen the news drop about this year’s book selection—the Newbery Medal winner Flora & Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo. But what exactly is Pelham Reads!? We’re glad you asked! 


In short: Established in 2013, Pelham Reads! is a biennial town-wide celebration of stories, as told through literature, art and film. It features a singular, wonderful-for-all-ages book, and kicks off with a weekend of free (yes, free!) activities for kids and their grownups alike. This year, we are holding a celebration at the Library on October 1st, followed by a free movie at the Picture House and free activity at the Art Center on October 2. But that’s not all! There will also be a Scavenger Hunt happening in our local businesses from September 19 – October 1, and a Sip and Paint to reward adults (21+) on Sept 28th.


Beginning September 19 through October 1st, keep your eyes peeled for our very own superhero squirrels of Pelham donning capes all along businesses on Fifth Ave. Snap a picture of them and hashtag #spotthesquirrel #pelhamreads for a chance to win your very own squirrel. Next, on Wednesday, September 28th, we have a treat for adults to enjoy. Join us for a Squirrel Sip & Paint at the Library! Finally, join us for a celebration for children and adults at the Library on October 1 and events at the Arts Center and the Picture House on October  2 that bring the tales to life. The event series is co-sponsored by the Friends of the Town of Pelham Public Library, the Pelham Library, The Picture House, and the Pelham Art Center. 


To get in on this fun, you simply read this year’s pick with your kids—now, when the hammock or that cushy chaise on your deck is calling you. Let it transport and stick with you, long after you finish, the way the most powerful books do. (Give yourself credit—no matter how zany this fall gets, you devoured a renowned and endearing book about a girl and her super-powered squirrel, and you did it together.)


Then, mark your calendar for the Pelham Reads! celebration. It’s when you and your kiddos get the chance to savor Flora & Ulysses again, all day long, through events right here at the Library, the Pelham Art Center and The Picture House (showing the nutty Ulysses-adjacent nature documentary, A Squirrel’s Guide to Success). Think: face-painting, comic-book making and crafting for the kids, and a sip-and-paint night for you—all entertainingly tied to the book. Oh, and yes, there will be donuts.

Watch this space—or follow us Friends of the Pelham Library on Facebook—to learn about all the fun in store. For now, stop by the Library to pick up the book. Copies are available at the Circulation Desk.


Want to learn more about Kate DeCamillo, one of the best authors of our time? Listen to this interview with Krista Tippett


PELHAM READS! PREVIEW: Here is the full schedule of events—all free! See you there!


Monday, September 19 – Saturday, October 1: Squirrel Scavenger Hunt (all ages), @ local Pelham Businesses

Keep your eyes peeled while you go about your errands—Ulysses the squirrel has been sighted in Pelham! When you see him, snap a picture and share it on social media along with the location and the hashtag #spotthesquirrel for a chance to win one of these cute stuffies!


Wednesday, September 28: Squirrel Sip & Paint (for ages 21 and up!),7:30 – 9 p.m. @ The Library

Relax with a paintbrush and a glass of wine, making new friends while painting a piece of art at this adults-only event! This event is currently sold out. Only guests who receive a confirmation email are assured a spot.


PELHAM READS! DAY 1: Saturday, October 1:
All events are @ The Library RAIN OR SHINE

  • 9-11am: Face Painting and Cape-Crafting Workshop
    Get your face painted like a squirrel and make a superhero cape!
    For ages 3 and up.
  • 9:30-10:30am: Comic Demonstration + Sketching Lesson
    A pro comic book artist from the Pelham Arts Center demonstrates how to sketch your stories! Comic-book fans like Flora will love this one! (Psst, Pelham Art Center is offering an awesome 8-week Creating Comics class this fall! Sign up
    here!) For ages 6 and up.
  • 10:30-11am: LEGO Demo! Watch a LEGO whiz create a squirrel and be inspired to make your own! For ages 3 and up.
  • 10:30-11am: Trivia Quiz Even superheroes need snacks! Munch a donut while you test your Flora & Ulysses smarts. (This sweet plays a pivotal role in the plot!) For ages 3 and up.
  • 11am-12pm: Essay Contest Winner Announced and Donut Treat Cheer this year’s winner and runner-up! (Scroll down for details on how your kiddo can enter!)

PELHAM READS! DAY 2: Sunday, October 2:
Events at the Picture House and Art Center

10:00 am: Movie! A Squirrel’s Guide to Success @ The Picture House: The nutty nature doc will help you see squirrels in a whole new light! Not Rated, Suggested  ages 4 and up.

1 – 2:15 pm and 2:45 – 4 pm: Cape-making Workshop @ The Art Center Make a fabric cape you can wear to fly around town! For ages 6 and up. Each session has 15 spots—sign up here to reserve your place.


Essay Contest Details: Flora & Ulysses

Announcing the First-Ever Pelham Reads! Essay Contest! 

Calling all student writers in grades 1 through 8! Submit an essay inspired by Flora & Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo by Sunday, September 25th and have a chance to win a Barnes & Noble gift card and local literary glory! 

Writing Prompt: choose one of the following prompts for your essay

  • If you were creating a superhero animal, what animal would you choose? Use Ulysses as a guide and include details like: a superpower, a name, how your superhero reveals or disguises powers, friends, enemies.
  • There are many quirky and interesting characters in Flora & Ulysses. Who is your favorite character and why?
  • Impossible things happen all the time. This story is filled with unlikely events that become life changing for many of the characters. When unexpected things happen to you, what do you do?

Essay Contest Prizes: the first-place winner will receive a $50 gift card to Barnes & Noble; the second-place winner will receive a $25 gift card to Barnes & Noble

Essay Contest Guidelines:

  • Kids in grades 1 through 8 are eligible.
  • Submissions must be emailed to ebewley@sll.com by Sunday, September 25th at 8:00 PM. Essays may be pasted in the body of the email or attached as Word doc or PDF.
  • Submissions will be judged by three Pelham-area media professionals. One first-place winner and one-second place winner will be chosen. Winners will be notified via email and will be announced on Saturday, October 1st, during our Pelham Reads! Celebration.
  • Essay submissions should be 200-500 words.


Have an idea or want to be involved?

EMAIL US AT: friendsofpelhamlibrary@gmail.com

Want to donate to the Library? Click here.


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