‘A Monster Calls’ wins Oceanside summer reading contest vote


A hotly contested race in Oceanside reached its explosive conclusion on May 3. And, no, people were not voting for politicians, the budget, or school board members.

After a month-long campaign where students and residents submitted their votes in the Oceanside School District’s One Summer, One Book, One Oceanside summer book reading contest, Patrick Ness’s “A Monster Calls” narrowly defeated S.E. Hinton’s “The Outsiders” by 18 votes.

The contest is the latest in a series of events organized for the district’s ongoing Go Read! campaign, which encourages parents, teachers, students and other Oceanside residents to engage with one another through their love of reading, both online and in person.

The three books garnered roughly 2,500 votes, which were submitted through the district’s website. “Gathering Blue,” by Lois Lowry, finished at a distant third. Go Read! organizers Dr. Beth Zirogiannis, Jessica Keegan and Diane Provvido are now working to ensure school libraries have enough copies of the winning book.

As part of the contest, participants are tasked with reading “A Monster Calls” this summer and engaging in various events related to the book. Currently, teachers and administrators are busy filming a series of teasers related to each chapter of the book, which residents can expect to appear on the district’s Go Live! YouTube channel as well as the district’s website in the coming weeks.

“This has been a combined effort,” said Zirogiannis, who credited her fellow organizers, district staff and administrators for getting involved. The district has also partnered with the Oceanside Library. Tony Iovino, the library’s supervisor to community services, is organizing events, and has ensured to have extra physical and digital copies on hand for anyone who wishes to participate.

“The library’s excited about participating in this community read,” Iovino said. “We think it’s a great way for Oceansiders of all ages to come together with a common experience.”