Parents looking for ways to keep their kids engaged and cool with indoor activities this summer may suggest reading. For those young readers, Russo's Books is hosting a Free Book Frenzy on Saturday, offering dozens of books for kids age 9 and up.
Starting at 9 a.m. at its office at 1601 New Stine Road, Russo's staff will be offering children one book each from a selection of advance reader copies, upcoming releases that publishers send to booksellers.
"We are not permitted to sell these preview copies," store owner Michael Russo said in a press release, "so we thought this would be the ideal opportunity to put a current book in a young person's hands."
Titles include "Jedi Academy: Return of the Padawan" by Jeffrey Brown, "A Bear Called Paddington" by Michael Bond, "TodHunter Moon, Book One: PathFinder" (part of the world of Septimus Heap) by Angie Sage, "The Madman of Piney Woods" by Christopher Paul Curtis and "a fair amount of zombie-related titles."
Russo stressed that there is only one copy of each title, but lots of variety in the 125 books up for grabs.
"The event is 'first come, first served/while supplies last,'" Russo said.
"We have a good selection for 14-to 18-year-olds so I'm hoping they are well-represented (on Saturday). I don't want older kids to view this as a little-kids-only giveaway."
If there are still books after each child has selected one, the readers may go through for a second selection starting at 9:30.
Russo said he held a similar book giveaway two years ago at his Marketplace location.
"It was lots of fun. No cost or obligation."
After Russo's closed its physical storefront in January, the business has continued to operate through book and Internet sales at its New Stine Road office. Customers can pick up orders there or have them shipped to their home.
In addition to the free book, children will receive a coupon for $5 off a book order of $10 or more.