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Katie McQuaid's Scene in Manchester: Need a break from gaming? Try a book.

June 22. 2018 11:32PM

“Minecraft” and “Roblox” are a regular part of the vocabulary in my house. These online multi-player games turn my kids from sweet angels into zombies who lash out the minute I tell them their screen time is up.

“Fortnite” is another part of my kids’ vocabulary, as in, “Why won’t you let me play Fortnite?” and “I’m the only kid who’s not allowed to play Fortnite.”

Just Google “Fortnite addiction” and you’ll understand my hesitation to let them become another victim of this survival-themed game. Besides, the World Health Organization just classified “Gaming Disorder” as an actual disease.

I’m doing my best to immunize my kids with books. And they actually seem to like them. Nothing educational, of course. The more toilet humor, the better.

I think this will be the summer they move onto something a little more highbrow than “Captain Underpants and the Perilous Plot of Professor Poopypants.” And there’s ample opportunity around the city for them to sample some new stuff.

Bookery Manchester is a great place for kids, and adults, to explore new genres and titles. On Saturdays, story time is held under the shop’s epic reading tree beginning at 11:15 a.m. Families can make an afternoon of it and enjoy lunch in the cafe from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Today, June 22, The Bookery is also hosting a hands-on workshop for young artists ages 6 to 9 years old. They can create a Dynamite Dino Terrarium using soil, rocks and unique plants. Visit for more information.

Brookside Church is bringing back its summer story hour series this Wednesday, June 27, on the lawn behind the church’s Manning House at 2013 Elm St.

This free activity is geared for kids ages 3 to 8, and brings in the Manchester City Library to let kids check out “books on the road.”

Each story hour also has a special guest host who provides a craft or activity for the children. Young readers will meet people from the Currier Museum of Art, Manchester Monarchs, Bike Manchester and Bookery Manchester.

“We have a fantastic line-up of community partners for our summer story hour series this year,” said Rev. Eric Jackson, the church’s senior pastor. “The theme of story hour is ‘Tell Your Story,’ based on the hymn ‘I Love to Tell the Story.’ Everyone has a story to tell. Sharing your faith journey has been a theme in our church this year and it lends itself well to the summer series as we share this special time with families in our community.”

Families should bring a blanket to sit on. Snacks and a drink will be provided. Story hour runs Wednesdays through July 25, except July 4.

The Manchester City Library launched its Teen Summer Reading Program last week. Teens who log their reading hours or attend the library’s summer teen events can earn points and be entered into a weekly raffle for a $25 gift card for Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Newbury Comics or Target. At the end of the summer, readers’ total points will be entered into a grand prize raffle for one of three $75 Visa gift cards.

Register at or contact Alex Graves at for more information.

The library also has younger readers, pre-school through fifth grade, covered with its “Libraries Rock!” summer program. Students who turn in completed reading records each week can be entered to win tickets to attractions around the state.

There are also plenty of activities to get kids in the library, including storytimes, crafts, science afternoons, maker space activities, Legos, reading to dogs, scavenger hunts and special guests. All programs are free of charge. Visit for more information.

How are you keeping kids off video games this summer? Email your method to Katie at

Entertainment Manchester Scene in Manchester

New Hampshire Highland Games
Friday, 9 a.m. - 9 p.m.,
Saturday, 8 a.m. - 9 p.m.,
Sunday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Full Throttle Weekend
Saturday, 8 a.m.

Portsmouth Fairy House Tour
Saturday-Sunday, 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Thomas Rhett
Saturday, 7:30 p.m.