By Curt Yeomans
Harry Potter, Dora the Explorer, the Transformers, and the Pirates of the Caribbean are all waiting for someone to take them home this week.
George Washington and the Taj Mahal are waiting to be discovered by a child.
Small motorcycles, bugs and human skeletons are available for studying.
The Clayton County Public Library system's headquarters branch, 865 Battlecreek Rd., Jonesboro, is currently hosting a Scholastic half-price book sale. The books will be sold through Thursday, in a gathering room attached to the library's lobby area. The operating hours for the book sale are 9:30 a.m., through 8:30 p.m., every day.
"It's hard to find affordable books these days, so it's a real deal when you can get them at half the cover price," said Janice Arcuria, the assistant library director in charge of youth services. "This is one way for us to get people to give a book to a child as a gift."
The library system earns credit, based on 10 percent of gross sales, to get books from the Scholastic Corporation, which will be used as rewards for children who read at least 20 books during the Vacation Reading Program. The library system is hoping to give out over 2,500 books as prizes in 2008. Last summer, 2,359 children earned a free book through the program.
Everyone, from toddlers to adults, can find a book to read at the sale, Arcuria said. The toddler's books have cardboard pages to withstand more wear and tear from the young readers. The books for adults include both fiction and non-fiction, and cookbooks.
There are also science kits, with which children can learn how to assemble a motorcycle, learn about bugs, or study the bones which make up the human skeleton.
Andra Armbrister, a teaching assistant at Callaway Elementary School in Jonesboro, found out about the book sale on Monday when she came by the library to return a book. Armbrister and her daughter, Imani, 3, browsed through the books at the sale, and a found a few books for her Imani to read.
"This is a great idea, because it allows children to get more books for less money," Armbrister said. "I'm going to e-mail all of my co-workers at school and let them know about this."
Arcuria said teachers and parents make up the bulk of people who buy books at the sale, and as a result, the crowds are typically larger after the school day ends. The library system conducts three Scholastic half-price book sales every year, but the December sale always gets the largest response, Arcuria said.
"There's a lot of people buying gifts for the holidays," Arcuria said. "What you choose to give as a gift, is what you deem is most important. When you give a book to a child, you're telling them reading is the most important thing they can do."
Acceptable forms of payment at the book sale include cash, checks, purchase orders, major credit cards and debit cards with charge card logos on them. Checks should be made payable to "Friends of Clayton County Library," and charges from Scholastic will show up on charge and debit cards beginning on Dec. 14. For more information about the book sale, contact Arcuria at (770) 210-5238.
The library system's headquarters branch will host another book fair from Feb. 22 through 28, 2008.