The 630 | Mysteries Unfold

December 2017 View more

 Adventures and thrills await local students this month, but the kids won’t need to leave school to experience them.

Six mystery writers will visit all D203 and D204 junior highs in December as part of the 2017 Naperville READS outreach program, “Whodummit? Read to Find Out!”

Through the books, students will visit the Hollywood world of Sammy Keyes, a seventh grader who solves mysteries while being tormented by classmates, or be locked in Mr. Lemoncello’s Library, where the only escape is through clues and secret puzzles.

“One of the ways we … encourage reading in an exciting way,” says Lynne White, Library Media Center director at Aurora’s Grainger Middle School, “is to [introduce students to] the person behind the book.” White is one of seven board members who coordinate the program, which is funded through
partnerships with publishers, as well as a grant from the city of Naperville. Each year a different grade level is targeted for the author visits, says White, but whole families are encouraged
to participate.

“This year we’ve asked schools to make sure the sixth grade is included,” says White, “but schools can choose to invite additional junior high grades, depending upon space.

An important part of the program is the acquisition of books that can be used by teachers and libraries. “That’s another way we’re really able to put the author in front of the students, as well as the books themselves. Once the kids meet the author and hear about the back story, it becomes the hottest thing to be checked out. It puts it in the readers hands when they are the most excited to read it.”

Six authors (see above, right) will appear at schools on December 5, 6 and 7, plus at a free public event at 7:00 p.m. on December 6 at Wentz Concert Hall. For more info, visit