A previous Gift of Reading celebration. This year's book giveaway will take place at the MDI YMCA on Dec. 2. ISLANDER FILE PHOTO

Free books

BAR HARBOR — Mount Desert Island area youngsters once again will have a chance to pick out a free book for themselves during the Mount Desert Islander’s annual Gift of Reading.

The event is set for Friday, Dec. 2, from 5:30-6:30 p.m. at the MDI YMCA on Park Street as part of the Bar Harbor Chamber of Commerce Midnight Madness sale and celebration.

Children from toddlers to teens are invited to stop by. Tables will be overflowing with brand new books donated by the Simon & Schuster publishing company of New York. Each child will be allowed to select and keep the book of their choice from hundreds of titles by well-known authors.

“It’s our way of giving something back to this island community that has been so generous in their support of us,” said Islander Editor Earl Brechlin. “We hope it encourages kids to keep reading.”

With the help of local donors, the paper also purchases hundreds of popular Maine-themed books to include in the event. In the past few years, the Islander and American have given some 11,000 books to area children.

Books also are donated to area charity gift programs.

Free “I am a Mount Desert Islander” stickers also will be available.

Call 288-0556.

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