Neighborhood Reads bookstore in Downtown Washington will celebrate its first bookstore birthday with special events Thursday through Saturday, June 14-16.

Author Ed Wheatley will be at the bookstore from 5 to 6 pm Thursday, June 14, to sign copies of his book, “St. Louis Browns: The Story of a Beloved Team.”

At 6:30 p.m., Wheatley will give a presentation on the Browns across the street, at the Washington Public Library.

Maisy the Mouse will be in town to celebrate the bookstore’s birthday with two story times — Friday and Saturday mornings at 10:30 a.m. At each event, a drawing will be held for a Maisy plush toy and the book “Maisy Goes to the Local Bookstore.”

Parents are invited to take photos with the storybook character from the picture-book series by Lucy Cousins.

Throughout the day Saturday, June 16, the bookstore will host face painting, refreshments, book giveaways and a sidewalk sale. A special bookstore birthday coupon will be published in the June 9-10 and June 13 issues of The Missourian.

Dawn Kitchell opened Neighborhood Reads June 15, 2017, after renovating a historic home at 401 Lafayette St., in Downtown Washington, across from the Washington Public Library.

Kitchell’s background in newspapers and youth literacy inspired her to bring an independent bookstore to the community.

Neighborhood Reads bookstore’s inventory has grown to include more than 6,000 new books for children and adults — including books featured in The Missourian’s book columns. Neighborhood Reads also carries a variety of gifts for babies through adults, including a large selection of children’s puzzles, games, hand puppets and more.

Neighborhood Reads hosts many ongoing events in the bookstore’s meeting room, including weekly story times, and book clubs for preteens, teens and adults, a knitting night and bullet journal gathering.

Additionally, many special events are scheduled each month.

In June, the bookstore will host a series of Magic Tree House Camps for children ages 7-10; a book fair in the bookstore for Immanuel Lutheran School; a Harry Potter Party for children in grades four and older to celebrate the release of new book covers for the series; author signings for the books “St. Louis Browns: The Story of a Beloved Team,” and “Incredible Cardinals;” and a poetry night in the backyard.

Other events scheduled for July include the month-long Where’s Waldo search downtown, a book sale in the backyard to benefit Stories Matter, a calligraphy workshop series, a program on Antarctica and a Happy Cactus paint and sip party.

Neighborhood Reads is open seven days a week, and readers can shop local to support the bookstore 24 hours a day through the website, The online link shows books currently on the shelves, books on order and lets customers place orders for pickup in store or to be shipped.

The bookstore also reaches out to readers weekly through an emailed newsletter, Shelf Awareness, that highlights new releases, authors and book news. The newsletter features local reviews from The Missourian’s Novel Ideas, MO Books blog and youth columns, including Book Buzz, Baby Buzz and Book Sprouts. A calendar of events for the bookstore is included in each issue.

To learn more about Neighborhood Reads, visit the website or connect on social media platforms Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.