Young Readers League

Young Readers League is a reading program designed to inspire kids 8-14 to talk, read and interact with books and their community. Presented in partnership by Pasadena Public Library and Vroman’s Bookstore. Sponsored by The Friends of the Pasadena Public Library.

Click here for the Young Readers League Selection Committee Application

The Pasadena Public Library and Vroman’s Bookstore is pleased to announce the 2017 Young Readers League book: The Key to Extraordinary by Natalie Lloyd.

Summary: Everyone in Emma’s family is special. Her ancestors include Revolutionary War spies, brilliant scientists, and famous musicians–every single one of which learned of their extraordinary destiny through a dream.

For Emma, her own dream can’t come soon enough. Right before her mother died, Emma promised that she’d do whatever it took to fulfill her destiny, and she doesn’t want to let her mother down.

But when Emma’s dream finally arrives, it points her toward an impossible task–finding a legendary treasure hidden in her town’s cemetery. If Emma fails, she’ll let down generations of extraordinary ancestors . . . including her own mother. But how can she find something that’s been missing for centuries and might be protected by a mysterious singing ghost?

With her signature blend of lyrical writing, quirky humor, and unforgettable characters, Natalie Lloyd’s The Key to Extraordinary cements her status as one of the most original voices writing for children today.

Writing Contest

In the spirit of this year’s Young Reader’s League selection, The Key to Extraordinary by Natalie Lloyd, enter this writing contest!  In 300 words or less, tell us a ghost story.

Winners will be featured on the Pasadena Public Library and Vroman’s Bookstore blogs, and win a gift card to Vroman’s Bookstore.

  • First prize ~ $100 gift card
  • Second prize ~ $50 gift card
  • Third prize ~ $25 gift card

Entry Categories:

  • Ages 8-11
  • Ages 12-14

Entry deadline is Tuesday, October 31, 2017.


Contest Guidelines:

  • Open to tweens and teens ages 8 – 14.
  • Stories must be 300 words or less and must be legibly hand written or typed.
  • Stories must be original and the student’s own work.
    All entries must be accompanied by a completed application form.
  • Stories may be submitted to any Pasadena Public Library or Vroman’s Bookstore site or emailed to Jane Gov at For emailed submissions: please submit with a scanned copy of the form and paste the story into the email.
  • Submissions must be received before 11:59 on October 31, 2017.


Special programs: 

Family Fun Films
Join us for a movie that the whole family can enjoy, celebrating themes raised in our 2017 Young Readers League selection The Key to Extraordinary by Natalie Lloyd. Call (626) 744-6510 for film titles.
Thursdays • 3:30 p.m. • Villa Parke Branch

Teacher’s Night at Vroman’s Main Store
We will have all of the information you’ll need for this year’s Young Readers League. In fact, you will be able to enter a raffle to win a set of this year’s Young Readers League selection for your classroom!
Saturday, Oct. 7 • 6 p.m. • Vroman’s Bookstore
695 E. Colorado Blvd. • Pasadena

Middle Grade Book Club
Read The Key to Extraordinary by Natalie Lloyd and join us for a book discussion and some snacks upstairs in the children’s department! For ages 10+.
Sunday, Oct. 15 • 4 p.m. • Vroman’s Bookstore
695 E. Colorado Blvd. • Pasadena

Let’s Go LEGO®: Build a Graveyard
We’re celebrating the Young Readers League book, The Key to Extraordinary, by building a group LEGO® cemetery, inspired by the book’s Blackbird Hollow Graveyard! Duplo’s are provided for our younger builders.
Tuesday, Oct. 17 • 3:30 p.m. • Lamanda Park Branch

Kids’ Writing Workshop
If you are a writer between the ages of 9 and 12, this group is for you! We meet monthly to read passages from great books, talk about what makes them work, and put those insights to use with writing exercises. This month we will work on entries for the library’s Young Readers League Writing Contest. Click here for the contest guidelines. To sign up, call (626) 744-4066, option 4.
Friday, Oct. 20 • 4:30-5:30 p.m.
Central Library/Children’s Story Room

Tween Book Club
Students ages 9-12 are invited to read our 2017 Young Readers League selection, The Key to Extraordinary by Natalie Lloyd, and make new friends by participating in a special book club just for tweens To sign up, call (626) 744-7262.
Tuesday, Oct. 24 • 4:30 p.m. • Hastings Branch

Paper Crafts!
Help us celebrate Young Readers League by adding to our community cemetery wall! We’ll color grave stones, make origami ghosts, and more! All ages and skill levels are encouraged to participate.
Thursday, Nov. 2 • 3-4 p.m. • San Rafael Branch

Boneyard Jamboree
Join us upstairs in the kids’ department for a Boneyard Jam Session! Bring an instrument, a poem, or a short story to share with fellow jammers while enjoying some spooky snacks!
Sunday, Nov. 5 • 6 p.m. • Vroman’s Bookstore
695 E. Colorado Blvd. • Pasadena

Discover your Destiny with a Dream Catcher
Do your dreams hold the key to your destiny? Come use the provided supplies to create a spectacular dreamcatcher that could hold the key to your future. For tweens only. To sign
up, call (626) 744-7262.
Tuesday, Nov. 7 • 4 p.m. • Hastings Branch

Crafty Desserts from the Boneyard Café
Come make crafty “desserts” just like the sweet treats you would find at the Boneyard
Café in The Key to Extraordinary, our 2017 Young Readers League selection. For ages 8+.
Wednesday, Nov. 8 • 4 p.m. • Central Library/Studio on 4th

Key to Extraordinary – Plant magical flower bulbs!
Create a treasure for your home and plant your bulbs now so that they will bloom for the December holidays! It’s a fragrant gift for the whole family!
Thursday, Nov. 9 • 3:30 p.m. • Hill Avenue Branch

Paint a Flower with Special Powers for an Active Service Member
Paint a special flower to send to an active service member overseas this Veteran’s Day. For ages 8+. To sign up, call (626) 744-7278.
Saturday, Nov. 11 • 11 a.m. • Linda Vista Branch

Keychain Creations
Make all sorts of keychains using beads, letters of the alphabet and other materials.
Tuesday, Nov. 14 • 3 p.m. • Allendale Branch

Recycled Books Cemetery
Create a cemetery from recycled books under the guidance of our favorite art instructor, Martina Moreno. To sign up, call (626) 744-7268.
Tuesday, Nov. 14 • 3:30-5 p.m. • La Pintoresca Branch

Power Flower Bookmarks
Carry your power with you! Choose from a selection of flower images with special meaning and use them to decorate an awesome bookmark. For ages 7+. To sign up, call (626) 744-7272.
Wednesday, Nov. 15 • 3:30 p.m. • Santa Catalina Branch


• All programs and events listed here are free and open to the public.

• Our programs and events are extremely popular. Space is limited and registration may be required.

Borrow the book from the Pasadena Public Library

Buy the book from Vromans Bookstore