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First Chapters: Castles & Catapults

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Welcome to First Chapters Book Club!

First Chapters is designed for beginning chapter book readers.  Call 330-259-3394 to listen to one of our librarians read the beginning of a chapter book.  You can then borrow the book from Hoopla or Curbside Pickup to finish reading it.  There will be a new book every Monday throughout Summer Discovery.

This week on the First Chapters call-in line is The Castle Mystery by Gertrude Chandler Warner.  Join the Boxcar Children on this spooky adventure!  Will you be able to solve the mystery that is hidden in the castle?

We also have a craft ready for you to take and make at home.  You can request your Take and Make craft through Curbside Pickup by calling 330-259-3399.  This week’s craft is a catapult!

Build a Catapult

Supplies Included in the Take and Make bag: 9 craft sticks, 7 rubber bands, 1 plastic spoon, and 2 cotton balls.

Step 1: Create the Base:  Use one rubber band to connect two craft sticks.  Then set aside.


Step 2: Make the Cross Piece: Stack the remaining 7 craft sticks and rubber-band them together at both ends.

Step 3: Connect: Slide the stack of 7 sticks between the 2 sticks that you have banded together.

Step 4: Connect: Use 2 rubber bands to make an x at the center, securing the base to the cross piece.

Step 5:  Finish:  Use  the last 2 rubber bands to connect the plastic spoon to the top craft stick.  Place a cotton ball on the spoon.  Press the spoon down to the table and release!

  • How far can your catapult launch a cotton ball? Measure the distance!
  • What happens if you press the spoon only halfway down?
  • Make a target and see if you can hit it.

After you finish The Castle Mystery, you can read more Boxcar Children books.  We have many titles available to request through Curbside Pickup or as eBooks through the Libby or Hoopla apps.

Request these titles through Curbside Pickup to learn more about castles:

Castles by Philip Steele

Fly Guy Presents: Castles by Tedd Arnold

Knights & Castles: 50 Hands-on Activities to Experience the Middle Ages by Avery Hart

I hope you enjoy this week’s book and craft!  Check back every Monday throughout Summer Discovery to see what’s new.


Pam is the Library’s Family Engagement Manager. She enjoys and believes in the power of reading aloud with children. She is known to still occasionally read aloud to her teenage children.