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National Reading Program Provides Free Year-Round Programming for Schools and Public Libraries

Get kids excited about reading with the national Great Scavenger Hunt ContestTM reading program ( Adopted by more than 250 school and public libraries, The Hunt provides a monthly trivia contest for readers ages 8 – 19, based on over 300 young adult and middle grade novels. Readers select a book and answer ten trivia questions accompanied by a special note from the author. For school and public librarians in the U.S. and Canada, The Hunt provides free, year-round programming to engage kids and teens in reading week after week.

Founded by young adult author Kay Cassidy, The Hunt was created to assist librarians as they face severe budget cuts. “As an author and proud owner of a well-worn library card,” says Cassidy, “I wanted to give back to all the librarians whose book recommendations have fed my imagination over the years and helped me grow as a writer.”

As a founding member of Living Your Five, an online community dedicated to changing the world one person and one passion at a time, Cassidy is active in promoting the concept of “paying it forward” and invented The Great Scavenger Hunt ContestTM as a part of that effort. Debbie Henricks, from the Evergreen Community Library in Metamora, OH, expresses thanks that “in these tough economic times when we are all trying to cut back, it is great to know that there is someone out there that encourages teens to use their public libraries.”

“I LOVE the Great Scavenger Hunt ContestTM! It is a great way to introduce books to teens and it is free. Who doesn’t love trivia?” adds Jennifer Nash of the Wallingford Public Library in Wallingford, CT.

With more than 300 tween and teen titles—including fantasies, mysteries, romantic comedies, and historical and literary novels—The Hunt satisfies every reader’s interests. Titles include New York Times bestsellers, finalists of the Newbery Medal, Printz Award, National Book Award and Edgar Award, and offer readers a selection of great writing in print for their age group.

To participate, readers (a.k.a. hunters ) select and read a book, print out and complete the author-created book trivia challenge, and return it to their participating librarian. Eight out of 10 correct answers enters them in the monthly drawing to win a $50 gift card to the bookstore of their choice.

When a reader wins, their library wins too: a tote bag filled with a choice of Hunt books for its collection.

Librarians love The Hunt and make it a part of:
• summer reading programs
• Teen Read Week promotions and festivities
• school book talks
• book clubs
• advance reader programs
• showing how books inspire creativity in readers
• suggested reading lists and bookmarks
• daily school announcements

“These books are flying off the display I created,” adds Sarah DiLorenzo of the McAlester Public Library in McAlester, OK.

Interested librarians may register online at The Great Scavenger Hunt ContestTM website ( Participating librarians receive access to online answer keys and the online contest entry form to make managing the program a snap. “One thing I love is that it's so easy to administer and promote,” says Sondra Eklund from the Herndon Fortnightly Library in Herndon, VA. “I've made a display of the books on the list, with a sign about the winner we had from our library. Kay has done all the work of making the trivia quizzes and doing the monthly drawing. Submitting the names of kids who do the quizzes only takes a few minutes. I love that it rewards kids who are readers and even gives them ideas of the next book to read."

Bonnie Mickler, of the Dubois Middle School in Dubois, IN, likes the immediate gratification that the program provides readers and says “the students just print off the trivia challenges to answer and return to me. Using the 'answer key' link I am able to give them immediate feedback as to whether their hunt was successful or not. Great program!"

The web site also offers easy downloadable promotional materials and tips from other librarians for making The Hunt a success. Additional details may be found at

“If it weren’t for great librarians, I wouldn’t be a YA author. A lovely teen librarian introduced me to my first YA books and magically picked titles that made me fall in love with the genre. The best librarians are the ones who bring not only a love of books to their work, but a sense of humor and enthusiasm for what they do. They are the unsung heroes of the book world.”
-- Kay Cassidy, YA author and creator of The Great Scavenger Hunt ContestTM

Kay Cassidy is the author of teen fiction she wishes was based on her real life. The Cinderella Society (April 13, 2010 due from Egmont; winner of the national Golden Heart Award for Best Young Adult Romance from Romance Writers of America) takes readers behind the veil of a secret girl power society dedicated to defeating the mean girls of the world. In her life B.W. (Before Writing), Kay was an award-winning professional trainer and now enjoys giving energizing motivational talks to young people around the country. More information about her signature workshops and Skype visits can be found on her website,

Kay is a former college cheerleader and sorority alum, an M.B.A. and a member of Mensa. She thinks it’s comical when people are surprised to discover those things aren’t mutually exclusive. When not writing, Kay enjoys movies, watching Glee, and reading. Lots and lots of reading.

For additional information and/or to interview founder Kay Cassidy, please contact:
Deborah Sloan
[email protected]

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