“Want to wear a costume in a graveyard and be in a movie?” On a recent vacation to New England, I was asked if I’d like to make a little day trip to Boston to help out with a literacy project my friend Kirsten was working on. It was going to happen in a graveyard. I got to wear a costume. I got to hang out with people who love, promote, and write kid’s books. How could I say no? (View the resulting promotional video here).
I found out more about this venture I so readily agreed to. Trick or Reaters is a Halloween-based way to get stories into the hands of eager candy collectors. What if every child who came to your door on Halloween night got an invitation to stories? Neil Gaiman’s All Hallows Read is a great idea, but perhaps giving a book to each child who comes knocking on October 31 is not financially feasible- especially if you get over 100 kids at your door.
Trick or Reaters captures the spirit of Halloween – dressing up and becoming a character, creating a story. Reading does that for us— allows us to get inside a character’s head. One of the creators of this initiative, Kirsten Cappy of Curious City, says “TRICK OR REATERS hopes to honor that connection by giving trick-or treaters access to snatches of stories that lead them to the library, looking for new authors.”
Candy is the centerpiece of Halloween. Kirsten says, “We are not denying that, but we are simply encouraging people to ALSO put a flier about TRICK OR REATERS in trick-or-treater bags to include story along with candy. The program also gives schools and libraries a free alternative to giving candy when candy distribution runs counter to health guidelines.”
So how does it work? Simple — print out FREE fliers and drop it into the bag when the little ghouls knock at your door. The flier leads them to the trickorreaters.com website, where they can find snippets of stories which will lead them to books. There’s a Scare-o-Meter which allows them to choose how scary they want the stories to be, or an Age-o-Meter (up to age 12). Kids get connected to books for FREE, and they might just show up at your library looking for those books!
I am really excited about this idea; it is perfect for librarians, teachers, booksellers, authors, and parents who want to get in on Halloween and add books into the mix. With all the doorbells that are being rung, think of how many book connections could be made. So get your costume ready, print out some fliers, and get kids looking for books in their candy bags this Halloween!