Book awards honor Hayden resident |

Book awards honor Hayden resident

Five young Hayden readers are the first recipients of the Bern Giannini Young Reader Award. Pictured are, from left, award presenter Karen Brown, Mackenzie Fry, Heather Nereson, Morgan Carrico and Hayden librarian Ana Lash. The award winners not pictured are Justin Erwin and Christian Carson.
Courtesy Photo

— The family and friends of former Hayden resident Bern Giannini have selected several young readers for an award that memorializes Giannini.

The awards were given to children that read a book or series of books that “deeply moved them” said Hayden librarian Ana Lash.

Recipients of the awards were Mackenzie Fry, Heather Nereson, Morgan Carrico, Justin Erwin and Christian Carson.

“The purpose of it is to encourage kids to read and enjoy books,” Lash said.

The children who received the award were given gift certificates to a bookstore.

This was the first year the awards were given out. The awards were inspired by the life of Giannini who loved to read, was a longtime Hayden resident and also cared deeply about passing her love for books on to children.

“She was such and avid reader,” Lash said. “She came here all the time.”

Since Giannini’s death, friends and family of Giannini wanted to do something to memorialize her that would last, Lash said.

“The plan is to continue it year after year,” Lash said.

Family friend Reed Zars from Wyoming interviewed the children about the books they read to decide who should be given the awards.

“He asked them some real critical questions,” Lash said. “He asked them things about the characters and how it affected them. It was more the way the kids interacted with the book.”

Zars wanted the kids to express how the books made them feel, Lash said.

“He didn’t just want to say ‘talk about the book,'” Lash said. “He wanted them to say what the book did for them.”

Giannini was known for engaging young people in discussions on real uses and for supporting their interest in reading. She was a strong supporter of the Hayden library and relied on the many books to get through long winters.

“Her love of reading affected all people,” Lash said.

– To reach Matt Stensland, call 871-4210 or e-mail

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