English Festival


The Racine Kenosha English Festival

The Racine-Kenosha English Festival is celebrating its 32nd anniversary this year. The festival welcomes the attendance of any 7th or 8th grader in Racine and Kenosha counties attending a public, private, or parochial school. The English Festival committee itself is composed of volunteer Kenosha and Racine English teachers, librarians, and parents. Six books are chosen in June to encourage reading during the summer months. They are chosen to include a range of reading levels and to ensure broad participation.Then all year long the committee members meet to create workshops for a vibrant interactive Festival celebrating the joy of reading. We have averaged 300 to 400 students a year in this two day event.

Students must read the six chosen novels and complete a short quiz (or an alternative activity) by February to attend the Festival in March.  Students attend two or three workshops of their choice at the Festival. Themes from the year’s chosen books guide the creation of the 45 minute interactive workshops. Poetry, creative writing, a mock trial, and theatre games are some of the workshops we have had in the past. In addition to attending the workshops, middle school students have the opportunity to participate in a college campus tour providing a firsthand experience as they consider future college plans. The day’s culminating event is a keynote presentation by the author of one of the year’s books. The Festival alternates locations between UW-Parkside and Carthage College. This year’s English Festival will be held at Carthage College on March 22 and 23, 2016. This year’s keynote speaker is Kristin Levine, the author of Lions of Little Rock. There is no cost to your student. The only requirement is the reading of the books and the ability to show same via quiz or alternate activity.

In 2007 the Wisconsin State Reading Association awarded the Racine-Kenosha English Festival event the”Celebrate Literacy” Organization Award. The Racine-Kenosha English Festival continues to appreciate the long standing support of the community merchants, school districts, local parent groups, Carthage College, and UW-Parkside,who have provided the financial and material support for us to continue this award-winning event.

Listed below are the novels for 2015-2016 ~
7th and 8th Graders from participating schools must read all 6 books in order to attend the English Festival in March of 2016. These books are available at the Racine Public Library, your school library and Barnes & Noble.

A Monster Calls Patrick Ness Teen Fiction
Counting by 7s Holly Goldberg Sloan Teen Fiction
El Deafo Cece Bell 921 Bell, C.
The Gardener S.A. Bodeen Teen Fiction
The Lions of Little Rock Kristin Levin Juv. Fiction
Zane and the Hurricane W.R. Philbrick Teen Fiction